East End History
In the summer of 1963 a group of men that included Al Klausman, Norm Young, Russ Glunt, Tom Cherry, and Dusty Rhodes decided to start a new Little League. At that time there were only two other leagues around and a lot of kids were left without playing baseball. So the group of men passed the word and assembled the kids up in the left field area of Geesey Park, originally there were 6 teams. The league was then known as The Geesey Park League. All games were played up in this area of Geesey Park.
After much hard work by this group of men, they acquired the rights to build a field below OakRidge Cemetery, now it is the parking area of The Altoona Little League Field in the area beyond left center field. At this time two more teams were added: the original sponsors were Georges T.V., Cumming Motors, Park Furniture, Helsel’s Hardware, Benzel’s Bakery, Long’s Tile, Berry & Berry Motors, and Ricks Garage. The name of the league was changed to The East End Little League.
Since the field at 9th St. wasn’t exactly in the East End Area, plans were being made to build another field in the East End Area of Altoona. Some of the men who spearheaded this effort were Bob Cummings, Dave Cumming, Jim Sanders, Bob Holland Sr., Mike Grum, and Bob Sanders. A lot of time and effort went into the building of this field. The 1977 season was the final season at 9th St. Following the 1977 season, it was decided that a Shaughnessey Playoff be held at the new field, so the 12 year olds could play at the new ball park. Todd Lane was the first player to hit a Homerun at the new field.
The 1978 season was the first season played here. The next step was planning for installing lights. The 1983 season was the first year for playing games under the lights. Men who played a major part in the installation of the lights were Bill Crawford, Bob Cummings, Dave Cumming, Sonny Miller, Bob Sanders, Jim Sanders, Mike Grum, and Bob Holland Jr., and some donated time and equipment from Bell Telephone. The league also expanded to 10 Teams and 2 Divisions. The sponsors at that time were Ye Olde Hobby Shoppe, Blair Monument, Benzel's Bakery, Cumming Motors, Frye's Sweepers, Pint& Pound, Ebersole’s, Joe & Jean’s, Furrer Beverage, and George’s T.V.
In 1987 Bob Holland Jr., proposed having Opening Day Ceremonies where all of the teams would dress in their uniforms and line up for a Ceremony on the opening day of the season. In 1992 it was proposed to set up booths and have a carnival, which also served as a fundraiser for the league. Cindy Pincherri brought this idea to reality.
The field here at East End has under gone many facelifts over the years. A major project was under taken in 1995, this was the first year East End hosted the Dean Patterson Little World Series. A fence was installed to surround the field and renovations were made to the storage shed to make it into a new Concession Stand, replacing the old stand that was located under the press box. A new storage shed was also added. Some men involved in these projects were Greg Muri, Jim Klausman, Lou Pincherri, Dan Heaton, Mike Grum, Bob Holland Jr., Rick Glunt, Jeff Friday, and many other volunteers. The following year a batting cage was installed along with a pitching machine.
Some former players of East End include: Raymond Schmittle, who pitched for the Altoona Rail Kings and also Phil Riccio, who is currently the Athletic Director of the Altoona Area School District.
In Fall 2013, the executive board decided to resurface the infield. Ventre Excavating donated their services to remove the old field and Werstil Landscaping was contracted to lay the new infield. Volunteers involved were Shane Himes, Jeff Frye, Shannon Harbaugh, Carl “Pugs” Adams, Mike Campagna, Lisa Frye, Bridgit Grassi, George Boutiller, Brett Sanders, Eric Savoy, Gary Ferguson and Kurt Farabaugh.
We are lucky that a group of men back in 1963 had enough courage and guts to have a dream that has been realized as we begin our 52nd season.