A tribute to Uncle Sal

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Image credits: tradingcarddb.com

By: Nina Grenga

NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. – As December quickly approaches, fans come to remember the anniversary of, local hometown hero, Sal Maglie’s death. Not only was Maglie a Major League Baseball pitcher… he was my uncle. Well, great great uncle. I never met him but I sure wish I had. Despite never having this chance, he still inspired my siblings and I to try baseball/softball. We only hoped to be half as good as him. Unfortunately, we were pretty much all terrible so it’s safe to say we didn’t get that gene.

Judith Testa, author of “Sal Maglie. Baseball’s Demon Barber,” attests to his aggressive style on the mound. Maglie was known as “Sal the Barber,” because of his “close-shave” pitching style. Batting against Maglie was a terrifying experience for almost all of his opponents. Cincinnati Reds player, Danny Litwhiler elaborated on his experience,

“He scares you to death. He’s scowling and gnashing his teeth, and if you try to dig in on him, there goes your Adam’s apple. He’s gonna win if it kills you and him both.”

Interestingly enough, Maglie’s devotion to baseball was so strong that he denied a basketball scholarship from Niagara University. Clearly he made the right decision as he hit it big time pitching for MLB teams including the New York Giants, Cleveland Indians, Brooklyn Dodgers, New York Yankees and St. Louis Cardinals. His amazing talent and Niagara Falls roots earned him a stadium to be named after him on Hyde Park Boulevard. Sal Maglie Stadium is now home to NU’s own Niagara Power.

So, if this happens to be your first time hearing about Maglie, I strongly encourage you to do some reading on his incredible career.

He’s kind of a big deal.

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