West Long Branch: The New Brunswick Pirates took the Championship Game by a comfortable 5-1 score on Sunday at the “Frankie and Friends Spring Invitational Tournament” in Valenzano Park. The Middletown Bombers held their own until hitting made the difference - a lead-off homer in the Fifth followed by an error, walk and double. It put the Pirates ahead to stay in the seven inning contest.
The Invitation honors the memory of Frank. S Caltabilota, Jr. and is played by teams with members who once played with him in school play and afterwards. They remember the personality, skills, sportsmanship and camaraderie that was Frankie.
The playing field named in Frankie’s honor at Valenzano Park and the monument to “Number 5” holds strong memories for his family, especially his Dad who helped him build the skills in the game he loved so much.
Townspeople, local groups and businesses support the Frankie Caltabilota Scholarship program established since Frankie was lost in the Rutgers dormitory fires in 2000. In the past years $40,000 has been donated to Shore Regional High and St. Jerome School in his name. The Invitational Baseball Tournament has raised $14,000 for that purpose through 2011.
Frank, Sr. was at the park all weekend, during the rain on Saturday and the sunny weather on Sunday. It was a great day for baseball and remembering Frankie.