World War II vet Crytzer headlines Alle-Kiski Valley Sports Hall of Fame class



Saturday, March 26, 2022 | 10:01 AM

In the center of a multi-sport athletic career at Freeport, Harry Crytzer saw it was time for a additional crucial contacting.

Crytzer, as quite a few did through that era, quit faculty during his junior 12 months and still left to serve in Earth War II. He experienced just assisted lead the Yellowjackets to the 1944 portion baseball title as the starting off shortstop at the tail conclusion of the prior college yr and had also played soccer and basketball.

“I had four brothers in the company at the time,” Crytzer mentioned. “I had started off my junior year and they were being taking 17-year-olds. It was No. 1 on everybody’s minds to win the war, so for me it was an easy conclusion to be part of.”

Prior to that, Crytzer performed baseball for the Freeport and Natrona American Legion teams from 1942-44. In the summer months of ’44, he represented Pittsburgh in the Countrywide Pressman’s baseball tourney, losing in the finals to a Detroit team.

“We were identified as the ‘Milk Truck Team’ for the reason that we traveled to the games in a milk truck,” Crytzer recalled.

For his many years-prolonged contribution enjoying and coaching various sporting activities, Crytzer will be one of 10 inductees at the 51st Alle-Kiski Valley Sports activities Hall of Fame banquet on Could 21 at the New Kensington Quality Inn.

At 94, he will be the hall’s 2nd-oldest inductee upcoming to 2019 inductee Dan Hawkins, then 95.

Crytzer continued playing baseball although stationed in Guam with the Naval Air Corps, actively playing for the Agana Naval Squadron when not serving as a radioman and nose turret gunner. Crytzer remained on Guam following the war as his workforce was island champs in 1947.

Soon after serving, Crytzer returned to Freeport and finished his superior faculty time at The Kiski College, around Saltsburg.

Adhering to that, he went to trade college and embarked on a 40-furthermore-12 months career as a sheet metal employee. Crytzer was the union enterprise supervisor for 23 many years, masking 23 Western Pennsylvania counties.

Crytzer continued his athletic career actively playing semi-pro football for the Leechburg Eagles and semi-professional basketball with the Freeport Fischers.

His extended affiliation with baseball ongoing all through the 1950s, as a player-manager for the profitable Freeport Independents and as a player for the New Kensington Merchants and the Freeport Retailers of the Tri-County League.

“That was a great model of baseball,” Crytzer claimed. “A great deal of the men were being Planet War II vets. We acquired some massive crowds at our online games.”

Even though managing the Freeport American Legion staff in 1960, the squad made it to the point out finals in Reading through, shedding to Coplay. That crew incuded Man Conti, lengthy-time mentor with the Mets and the Dodgers, along with Gary Koontz, a pitcher in the Red Sox chain who later on grew to become the “Marlboro Man” in cigarette adverts.

Crytzer also served as a Pittsburgh Pirates scout for a quantity of years, but with his career as a sheet steel employee and the need to have to aid his wife and 7 young children, he by no means went into scouting whole time, while he carried out a number of Pirates tryouts at Forbes Discipline.

With his many children grandchildren and good-grandchildren in sports, Crytzer has probable witnessed a lot more Freeport athletic functions than anyone.

A-K Valley Athletics Hall of Fame

What: 51st induction banquet

When: Could 21, 7 p.m.

Where: Good quality Inn, New Kensington

Tickets: $30

Contacts: Larry Lutz 724-822-3695 Monthly bill Heasley 724-882-3079 Fred Soilis 412-736-1809

Tags: Freeport

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