Alumnus Frank Fazio, class of 1949, had the rare opportunity to relive his college baseball days when he took the mound and threw the ceremonial first pitch for the alumni baseball game that was held during Homecoming 2010. “There was really something special about my dad being back at Geneva and on that field,” says Frank’s son, John. “That day was very special for my whole family.”
Frank holds a special place in the history of Geneva College baseball. He graduated from New Brighton High School in 1940, but did not immediately enter college because there were rumors of the instatement of a draft for the war. After serving our country in World War II, he returned to Beaver Falls and enrolled at Geneva College, majoring in industrial engineering. At this time, baseball was a minor sport at Geneva; however, faculty member Walter Landgraf, Frank and a number of other students wanted to form a varsity baseball team.
“Forming the team was not hard to do,” says Frank. “I recall Mr. Landgraf, who was head of the Industrial Engineering Department, and fellow student and good friend John Haddad talked about starting a team. Word spread quickly and we soon realized there was a lot of interest. We had no trouble getting players. Although most of us were three or four years older than traditional students, most of us had been playing in the Beaver County League or in similar leagues near Pittsburgh. Some of us even played during the war. So we not only had a lot of interest, but a lot of experienced players.”
In addition to pitching for Coach Landgraf, Frank also attended many of his classes while earning a bachelor of science in industrial engineering. He appreciates his experience at Geneva College away from the baseball field, too, because it gave him a good moral foundation for approaching life. Frank took what he learned at Geneva and used it to serve God as an industrial engineer for Goodyear Aerospace in Akron, Ohio, until he retired.
When asked for his favorite memory of his time spent on the baseball team, Frank answered, “Beating Pitt on opening day. I pitched a complete game. Pitt was the first larger school that we faced and we were supposed to be one of their warm-up teams. It was a great accomplishment for a new team from a smaller school.” Geneva won the opener against the University of Pittsburgh 8-5 and went on to a highly successful season with a record of eight wins and four losses.
And how did Frank feel about his return to Geneva baseball? Although Frank hasn’t thrown a pitch for a few years, John says, “last Saturday, he probably threw at least 15 before he went towards the mound and I think he was ready for more.”
Frank currently resides in Akron, Ohio, and has three sons, one daughter and several grandchildren.
"History is not just about facts, names and dates - it's about real people..." Click here to read Molly's profile. Geneva has formed a Geneva College Alumni and Student group on LinkedIn. The program on Nov. 12 & 13 includes students performing songs from Phantom of the Opera, Guys and Dolls and Wicked.
"History is not just about facts, names and dates - it's about real people..."
Click here to read Molly's profile.
Geneva has formed a Geneva College Alumni and Student group on LinkedIn.
The program on Nov. 12 & 13 includes students performing songs from Phantom of the Opera, Guys and Dolls and Wicked.