Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Johnny Antonelli vs Billy Allen

In 1948 there was a terrific high school baseball pitcher in Rochester, NY  named Johnny Antonelli.  Antonelli, in his senior year at Jefferson High School pitched five no-hitters and was actively scouted by major league teams.  But there was another ace high school pitcher that year and that was Billy Allen who pitched for West High School.  A number of people were of the opinion that Allen was as good or better than Antonelli. I, an unbiased observer, was in that group. Ok, so he lived on Flint Street down the street from us.

That year the Boston Braves were looking at both pitchers and decided that if Jefferson High and West High would play each other at the end of the high school baseball season they would sign the winning pitcher.  The game, played at Red Wing Stadium on Norton Street, was a sell out.  I don't recall the final score but do remember the winning team - West High School and Billy Allen!

So the Braves signed Billy Allen but also signed Johnny Antonelli.  Two high school baseball phenoms from Rochester went to professional baseball in 1948. Antonelli went on to play for the Braves and the Giants (both New York and San Francisco) and retired in 1961. He returned to Rochester and ran a chain of Firestone Tire stores in the Rochester area.

What happened to Billy Allen?  Billy never played in the major leagues and spent a number of years in 'D' league ball in the south. After that I don't know but for a while Flint Street had a star!

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