In Loving Memory of Nick Macone
We carried you to Sleepy Hollow, Now we carry you in our hearts
Susan, Anthony, Sally, Paul, Nick Jr. and Sharon
Date and Place of Birth: February 3, 1918 Concord, Massachusetts
Died: December 3, 2007 Concord, Massachusetts
Rank: Master Sergeant
Military Unit: 70th Ordnance Company US Army
Area Served: Mediterranean and European Theater of Operations
J “Nick” Macone was born
Following high school graduation, he and high school friend Jim Cullinane signed professional contracts with the Sydney Mines Ramblers of the Cape Breton Colliery League, a four-team league at the heart of the hard-nosed coal mining community of Nova Scotia in Eastern Canada. It was a pretty rough league and the local miners were diehard fans. A number of times the Princess Colliery failed to operate because most of the miners were at the ballgame. And the miners didn’t like their team losing - the Royal Canadian Mounted Police had to rescue umpires on a number of occasions at Brown Street Park.
Macone batted .271 in his 1938 rookie season with the Ramblers and his
.321 average in 1939 was third best in the league - he also stole 15
bases. But even the pitching talents of former Boston Brave, Al
Blanche, couldn't help the team out of the basement. After 1939,
the league disbanded with
On October 15, 1941, Macone entered military
service with the Army – one of six brothers to serve with the armed
forces in WWII. He was stationed at Aberdeen Proving Ground in
Macone was later sent overseas with the 70th Ordnance
Company and spent two years in North Africa and
Pretty soon, the All-Stars found themselves in the ETO World Series where they would face the mighty Third Army team. The Third Army was a star-studded outfit led by Cardinals’ outfielder Harry “The Hat” Walker and driven by a pitching staff that featured Ewell “The Whip” Blackwell of the Cincinnati Reds, who had already pitched a no-hitter in the championship series and would go on to pitch a no-hitter in the major leagues.
|OISE All-Stars in Rheims, France 1945.
Nick Macone is back row, far right. Sam Nahem is back row
Willard Brown is front row, fourth left and Leon Day is front row, far right.
The OISE All-Stars seemed to have little hope of getting a runner on base let alone winning a game in the best-of-five World Series against the Third Army – Ewell Blackwell had been unbeaten all summer!
True to form, the Third Army easily overcame the All-Stars, 9 to 2,
before 50,000 cheering servicemen at Nuremberg Stadium,
The Third Army came back with a vengeance in Game Four. Harry Walker hit a two-run home run and Bill Ayers blanked the All-Stars, 5 to 0. The deciding game saw the series return to Germany and despite the support of 50,000 fans, the Third Army were unable to stop the underdog All-Stars from creating a huge upset as they defeated – for the second time – Cincinnati pitcher Ewell Blackwell. Macone had two hits in the 2 to 1 victory, including his third double of the series.
|Lowell Sun February 15, 1946|
Equipped with pro offers, Master Sergeant Macone returned home and
signed with the St Louis Browns in February 1946, joining the team
for spring training in
who married Gertrude Peters in 1947, was a volunteer fireman and
worked for several years at Andy Boy Farm in
continued to tend his 40-acre farm in
Macone passed away at The town of Concord
flew the American flag at half staff on the day and the Army
provided a military honor guard at Sleepy Hollow Cemetery which
included presentation of the flag and the playing of taps.
The town of Concord flew the American flag at half staff on the day and the Army provided a military honor guard at Sleepy Hollow Cemetery which included presentation of the flag and the playing of taps.
On the first anniversary of Nick Macone's passing, his
daughter, Susan, sent me the following story that I want to share
On the first anniversary of Nick Macone's passing, his daughter, Susan, sent me the following story that I want to share with everyone:
Remembering Nick Macone
February 3rd 1918 – December 3rd 2007
Nick was a remarkable athlete as well as being a skilled mechanic. As a youth, he hit the ball so viciously its skin would tear off… thus his nickname "Buster". After joining the army at the beginning of World War II, he was attached to Armor where his job was to go in early and supervise the setting-up of motor pools that serviced tanks and other armored vehicles. He rose quickly to the rank of Master Sergeant. When he was allowed time, he played baseball on General Patton's prize winning team. Patton awarded him a gold wrist watch for his prowess with glove and bat. Nick always regretted losing that watch … up by Middlesex school while picking blueberries.
Remembering Nick Macone
One day after the invasion of Normandy a high ranking officer appeared at his motor pool and ordered Nick into his command car. Nick had no idea what was up. He was sure it had something to do with some infraction of the rules, as he will run his shop with complete autonomy (make that read Macone). After a long drive to Cherbourg they pulled into the mansion that was headquarters for the Allied Central Command. Nick was sure he was going to be shot.
They hustled up the stairs and into a large foyer where it seemed that every bit of polished brass of the highest level (U.S. and otherwise) was scurrying about planning the battle for France. The officer that had brought him motioned to a door where two MP's stood at guard "Go in there!" he ordered.
Cap in hand, Nick entered. There behind a very large desk sat General Dwight David Eisenhower, Supreme Allied Commander. After a few pleasantries, Ike said he had heard about Sgt Macone's skill with a wrench, and told him the following story: It seems that Ike had secured a big touring car in the States that he intended to use as his command car in the European campaign. The car was in a ship that got sunk in Cherbourg Harbor. It had been salvaged, and now laid in a sad state of disrepair. He asked Nick if he could fix it. Nick replied, "Yes Sir!"
It took a while, but before long Nick had it running again (he couldn't remember if it was a Packard or a Buick). Before he gave the touring car back to Ike, he took it for a spin to make sure everything was working right. At the very high rate of speed, he was run down by a couple of military police vehicles. The MPs wanted to know where in hell this "dog face" ever got hold of a big touring car like that, and why wasn't he where he was supposed to be. "Don't you know there is a war going on? " Before long the story was checked-out with headquarters and the MPs were quite impressed that the little sergeant knew ""The Boss"".
Years later, when Ike became President of the United States, a military vehicle pulled-up in the front yard of Nick's farm on Fitchburg Turnpike. An officer stepped forth with a personal note and commendation from the White House. Ike hadn't forgotten Nick Macone… nor will any of us.
That's just one of the many accomplishments that rarely got
mentioned by Nick. He was that kind of a guy.
That's just one of the many accomplishments that rarely got mentioned by Nick. He was that kind of a guy.
Thanks to Susan Macone and Sharon Bosse Macone, Nick’s daughter-in-law, for all their help with this biography.
Created December 12, 2007. Updated January 13, 2009.
Copyright © 2007 Gary Bedingfield (Baseball in Wartime). All Rights Reserved.