Tom Ippolite – Camden
Pitcher – Camden, NJ
Tom’s baseball career began on the sandlots of South Camden in the late 1930s. Long before the use of radar guns, it was evident that Tom could throw a ball with blinding speed allowing him to become a prominent pitcher of his era.
He played briefly at Camden HS, but that level was not enough of a challenge for him so he took his pitching talent to the semi-pro level. Box scores during his early career show that he consistently had games with double-digit strikeout performances.
His career, like so many other young men in the early 1940s, was interrupted by World War II. Even during wartime, Tom found time to pitch for teams while stationed at Fort Hood (Texas), Fort McQuade (Calif), Camp Breckenridge (KY), Fort Sill (OK) and while on various overseas assignments.
Following his discharge in 1946, Tom returned home to semi-pro ball and was eventually offered a contract with the Philadelphia Athletics Organization. He developed arm trouble, however, and his pro career was cut short. However, his scrap book is filled with pictures of he and former teammates such as Bobby Shantz, Roy Sievers, Art Ditmar, Carl Sawatski, Gus Bell and Roy Smalley, each of whom eventually became major league players.
Tom later went on to a career as a carpenter.