Showing posts from February, 2011

Italian / American Inventor of the Pitching Machine: Lorenzo Ponza:

Lorenzo Ponza was born on February 15, 1918 the son of Italian immigrants Lorenzo and Mary Ponza, in Glenwood California. He grew up on his parents Saw Mill & worked in the engineering field after high school. He moved to Pearl Harbor in 1941 working for the Navy & was there during the 1941 Japanese bombing attacks. He remained in Hawaii becoming a civil supervisor helping build up the US Pacific Fleet. He came back to Santa Cruz in 1950 & opened up a small machine shop working as an inventor. By 1952 he gets credit with inventing the modern day baseball pitching machine. He fine tuned some of the older original models that never quite resembled real life pitching.(Another Italian inventor Paul Giovagnoli also developed a similar machine that year & his company claims they invented the first.) But the Ponza machines, known as “ponzas’ among the base ball players were the most widely used & most authentic. Through the years Lorenzo followed up with many improv

Bob Murphy's Brother Jack Murphy & the San Diego Stadium Named After Him

Jack Murphy was born on February 5,1923 in Oklahoma. He is the older brother of legendary New York Mets broadcaster Bob Murphy. Beginning in 1951, Jack was a sports writer & editor for the San Diego Union news paper for the next thirty years. In the early sixties he began a push to get a professional multipurpose sports facility to the San Diego area. Murphy then helped lure the AFL football Chargers from the Los Angeles area, south to San Diego. In 1967 the Chargers played the first ever game in the new 54,000 seat stadium which would eventually be home to both the Padres & Chargers. In 1969, Murphy was instrumental in bringing the San Diego Padres from the Pacific Coast League to the major leagues in the expansion of the National League. The stadium located in Mission Valley, was originally named San Diego Stadium & after his passing in 1980 it was renamed San Diego’s Jack Murphy Stadium in his honor. It soon became simply known as “the Murph”. The stadium origin