Home / Editorial / Resurrecting A Miraculous Little League Dream
Resurrecting A Miraculous Little League Dream
By Rabbi Rabbs
Updated: August 2, 2018
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In The Bronx, NY, neighborhood of Riverdale sits a Roman Catholic school named Manhattan College whose NCAA Division I baseball team bears a green and white logo strikingly reminiscent to that of Southern California Champion Park View Little League of Chula Vista.
The Manhattan Jaspers have inducted several of their baseball team’s players over the years into their athletic department’s hall of fame. One of those enshrined players is Joseph J. Coppo Jr., who was inducted into the Jaspers’ hall of fame in 2004. Coppo, a full-blooded Italian-American, had captained the Jaspers during his senior season in 1975, and according to the Jaspers’ web site, led Manhattan in earned runs average, innings pitched, and slugging percentage.
Coppo, whom the Cincinnati Reds had reportedly drafted straight out of high school, had opted to attend Manhattan rather than immediately pursuing a professional baseball career. Despite being a standout in the high school and college levels, Coppo never reached the major leagues.
Speaking of Little League, after graduating from Manhattan, Coppo soon got married, had four children, reportedly shared his love of baseball with them, and sure enough, Joseph became a coach in his local Little League, where he shared his passion for the game with other parents’ kids. Coppo was reportedly very well liked and respected by other Little League parents, and by his players.
Late in the year 2000, Coppo became an executive for the financial firm Cantor Fitzgerald, and shortly thereafter, he moved into its corporate headquarters and New York City office on the 104th floor of 1 World Trade Center, one of the Twin Towers in Lower Manhattan. On Sept. 11, 2001, at 8:46 am, the baseball dad and coach was murdered along with 657 of his fellow New York employees, 68% of Cantor Fitgerald’s overall workforce, when unspeakable ruthless hijackers intentionally crashed a passenger jet into that tower, only a handful of floors below Coppo’s office.
In the wake of that horrific event, in Coppo’s honor, Waveny Park Little League in his town of New Canaan, CT, where the former Jasper captain had coached Waveny’s all-stars in hopes of reaching the Little League World Series, renamed its baseball field as Joe Coppo Field.
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Coppo, Joseph J. Jr. [MC1975 RIP]
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