George Passabet got out of the service on June 1, 1946. Almost exactly 66 years later, he recalled details of his days on several different minor league baseball teams he joined after returning home to Hawthorne. He had grown up playing ball for Pleasantville High School, but hadn’t played in three years by the time he got home from WWII. Today he lives in Naugatuck, Connecticut near his children.
At the his weekend, Passabet remembered his minor league days with a smile. He first played for Nyack and Carbondale, PA in the North Atlantic League batting .333 and pitching. His first game was against the Peekskill Tides, where his team lost. Ten days later he pulled a hamstring and had to take it easy for a while.
“It is terrific getting to see the love for the game everyone has got,” Passabet said at the museum Friday.
Passabet played unprofessionally for a few years before he decided to stop playing ball, earn a college degree and focus on his wife and children.
Passabet’s story and many others like it were shared throughout the three-day Old Timers Baseball Celebration event, organized by the Peekskill Museum.
The 12 men in their 80s and 90s who visited with family members also got to hear from John Vorperian, host of the cable show “Beyond the Game,” Society of American Baseball Research historian and Peekskill Museum member Bob Mayer, who was the main organizer of the event; former Yankees public relations director Marty Appel and pitcher Jim Bouton. Appel and Bouton have both authored books on baseball. Appel’s book “Pinstripe Empire – A Definitive History of the New York Yankees,” is about his career with the Bronx Bombers and Bouton’s 1969 memorie, “Ball Four,” is a behind-the-scenes look into pro baseball.
The weekend ended with a trip to the Peekskill Stadium for a Peekskill Tides game.
Read more about the weekend activities .