9 members set to join Somerset County Baseball Old-Timers Hall of Fame
Editor’s Note: This is the second of three parts highlighting members of the Class of 2022 Somerset County Baseball Old-Timers Hall of Fame.
Somerset County Baseball Veterans will host the 25th Hall of Fame Picnic and Induction Ceremony from noon to 5 p.m. on August 13 at Stoystown American Legion Post 257. The induction ceremony will begin at 2 p.m.
First three membersMeet the first three members of the Somerset County Baseball Old-Timers Class of 2022 Hall of Fame
1971 undefeated North Star High School baseball team
Under Jack Dickey as head baseball coach, the Cougars had exceptional defensive strength in the middle, skilled cornermen, timely hitting, and game-leading pitching. They won the fourth PIAA District 5 Baseball Championship while going through the entire season undefeated. All schools in District 5 at the time were in the same classification. The PIAA Inter-District Playoff games, better known as the State Tournament, were not played in 1971. After winning the District 5 Championship, the season was over. The Cougars beat a highly rated team from Everett High School 12-3.
In 1969 and 1970, Jenner-Boswell Joint High School (JBJ Bears) did not sponsor a baseball team, but beginning in the 1970–71 school year, they merged with Forbes High School Jets. In 1969, Forbes High School lost a regular season game. In 1970, the Forbes Jets lost a regular season game, then recorded their second loss in a close District 5 title game against Tussey Mountain. Over a three-year span, Jets athletes had a combined record of 22-3.
The undefeated North Star Cougars baseball team in 1971 consisted of Jack Dickey – head coach, seniors: Greg Stufft, Allan Griffith, Eli Conn, Bob Wain, Tom Miller, Brad Stetler, Dave Bockm, Randy Yoder and Vaughn Worsell ; Juniors: Bill Boyer, Greg Miller, Dave Cheek, Joe Pelesky, Joe Zabnoni and Jeff Roberts; Sophomores: John Deaner and Kevin Coleman; Freshmen: Jack Boyer, Tom Zimmerman, Jeff Pyle, Sammy Zimmerman, and Jim Zimmerman.
From the 1971 Cougars baseball team, Coach Dickey, Bob Wain, Greg Stuft, John Deaner, Jim Zimmerman, Sam Zimmerman and Tom Zimmerman are all members of the Somerset County Baseball Old-Timers Hall of Fame.
Take control of the IrishSomerset graduate, former VCU Stiffler skipper named Notre Dame head coach
Charles R. Pipta
Born August 31, 1926, Charles R. Pipta played and coached in the Somerset County Baseball League from the early 1950s through the late 1960s, with his successful playing days spent in a Jerome Cardinals uniform.
The early days of Pipta’s playing career began in the Jerome Little League ranks. After ensuing military service, he adapted as a starting pitcher for the Cardinals while contributing to the team with his bat. A career highlight was a winning effort for the Cardinals in Shaughnessy’s playoffs while off the field he was busy helping raise money with his teammates for a brand new baseball field on which their beloved team could play.
A coaching career was the next step for Pipta, managing Jerome’s Little League side with Coach Orange Thomas. During this period, Pipta again raised funds, this time for the Jerome American Legion. Young players coached during this time included Doug Telenko, Ron and Jeff Hostetler, Bob Gironda, Rick Todero, Stan Nosal, Coach Thomas’ son Larry Thomas, as well as his own son, Rob Pipta. Coaching the team to a league title in 1969, Pipta always taught his players the importance of being good teammates and the value of dedicated teamwork.
When not coaching, Pipta was an umpire in the Jerome Little League and the Somerset County Baseball League. An avid supporter of all sports, Pipta was a member of the Conemaugh Township school board and spent free time at every home baseball game, perched in right field on his lawn chair, wearing his Conemaugh Township baseball cap donated by Sam Zambani.
After Pipta’s baseball career ended, he was employed at the U.S. Steel Johnstown Works and, with his wife Rosemary, had five children; Judy, Sharon, Gary, Rob and Patty. Charles died on April 9, 2007, and was buried with the aforementioned Conemaugh Township baseball cap, a final sign of dedication to his team.
Charles Pipta would be very proud and honored to be inducted into the Somerset County Hall of Fame, and his family would like to thank his cousin Gloria Zambanini, his son Sam and Mr. Tom Telenko for helping to provide the above information . Without their help, the fondest memory of their father’s baseball career would have come in the form of a quote: “Kids, for every foul ball you get and go back to the shed, you get a nickel.”
Thomas “Turkish” Zimmerman
Thomas “Turk” Zimmerman started playing baseball at age 8 in the Stoystown Baseball League where he hit over .600 in his last three years.
In 1971, he played for the new Somerset County minor league for the Forbes baseball team, where they won the championship with a 10-1 record.
He was a member of the 1971 District 5 Championship North Star team as a rookie. As a sophomore on the North Star High School baseball team, he pitched a no-hitter against Rockwood in his first high school game ever pitched. Turk played his high school career for the North Star pitch and first base, hitting nearly .400 each year.
In 1973, he played American Legion ball for Boswell with the late Nathan Codispoti as coach, and hit nearly .400 both years, before moving to the Johnstown Junior League, where he played for Monte Carlo.
There, he pitched and played first base, batting .340. He was selected to play for the Hilltop Boys Club in the 4-team All-Star Playoffs to represent Johnstown in the AAABA Tournament.
Zimmerman attended Frederick Community College during the 1974–76 seasons. While at Frederick, he played first base and pitched. In 1975, he led the team in batting with an average of .400 (11th in JUCO), 25 RBIs (2nd in JUCO) and earned team honorable mention in Region 20. He was also selected in 1976 for the Region 20 All-Tournament Team with the JUCO Region 20 Tournament.
He ended his playing career with UPJ as a relief pitcher in the spring of 1977. Also in 1977, he helped Nathan Codispoti form the new Somerset County Junior Legion League and coached the Stoystown Jets to the Divisional Championship of the District 24.
In 1978, the Stoystown Jets were District 24 regional champions. He received the American League Baseball Citation for setting an example for the boys through his “continued competition, training and athletic achievement”, signed by Baseball Commissioner Bernie Kuhns and National Legion Commander. He returned to baseball and played a year for the Double Z team in the Cambria-Somerset County League.
Follow Daily American Sports on Facebook and @dailyamericanmedia on Instagram.