Pitoniak: Passamonte, Mt. Morris fete baseball pioneer Ross Barnes

From SABR member Scott Pitoniak at the Rochester Business Journal on August 18, 2017, with mention of SABR member Gary Passamonte:

Gary Passamonte is like a pesky hitter who keeps fouling off pitches in hopes of eventually getting one he can smack for the game-winning hit. In this metaphor, his prolonged at-bat is a cause he’s pursued for nearly three decades. The Mount Morris native is determined that a long-dead guy from his Livingston County hometown finally receives his due.

And that is why Passamonte continues hacking away, dreaming that one day Ross Barnes will be immortalized in bronze at the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown.

“If I were a betting man, I’d probably bet against me,’’ said the retired postmaster. “But I’m not going to give up the fight because Ross belongs in the Hall.”

Passamonte’s personal crusade traces to the summer of 1987 when folks in Mount Morris finally got around to dedicating a monument to native son Francis Bellamy. The author of the “Pledge of Allegiance” certainly was worthy of immortalization in stone, but his long overdue recognition also prompted mention of another fellow from that town 45 miles southwest of Rochester who had been forgotten by history.

At the same time Passamonte and others pledged their allegiance to Bellamy, long-time Democrat and Chronicle reporter Bob Bickel lamented what a shame it was that Barnes, professional baseball’s first superstar, hadn’t received his due in his own hometown with a plaque or a scholarship in his name.

Read the full article here: http://rbj.net/2017/08/18/passamonte-mount-morris-fete-pro-baseballs-first-star/

Originally published: August 21, 2017. Last Updated: August 21, 2017.