Thursday, June 28, 2012

Brancato, 93, one of the last links to the major leagues in the 1930's

Al Brancato
Al Brancato, shortstop for Philadelphia Athletics in the late 1930’s and early 1940’s, passed away Thursday June 14, at the age of 93 at an assisted-living facility in Granite Run, Pa. In 2008, I visited Brancato at his home in Upper Darby, where he graciously shared the details of his career over lunch at his dining room table.

Growing up in South Philadelphia, it was on the sandlots where he cut his teeth playing against other professionals.

“I would play semi-pro with all of the local players who would come back from playing pro ball who couldn’t make any money there,” Brancato said. “I played for [a team] at 58th and Elmwood. That’s how I honed my skills, playing with the older guys and playing against the black teams in Chester. You learned from being around those guys. The talk, how they played, you watched all of this. The leagues around Philadelphia were very good.”

Click here to read the entire interview with Brancato, who speaks about playing baseball in the majors before World War II and all of the legendary events he was associated with during the historical 1941 season.

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