A Monday Night History Lesson

Carl Maggio, who played baseball at USC in 1955-56, died last week. He was 86.

Maggio was a member of a team I’ve wanted to write about for a couple years: the American Legion team, Crenshaw Post 715, that won the national title in 1951 at Tiger Stadium.

Sparky Anderson, who grew up on what is now part of the USC campus and a Trojan bat boy, was the shortstop. Billy Consolo, a pro baseball player from 1953-62, was the third baseman.

Rene Lachemann, the pro baseball player/manager, was the bat boy. He later went to USC. His brother, Bill, was the catcher on the legion team. The other brother, Marcel, was the Angels’ manager from 1994-96. Their dad was the chef at the Biltmore Hotel.

Leonard Landy, a member of the Little Rascals’ “Our Gang,” movies, played first base and also played at USC. Dean Stockwell, the actor, became sort of a team mascot because he never missed a game. Maggio played right field.

The coach was Benny Lefebvre, the father of pro baseball player Jim Lefebvre. Benny was the director of Rancho Cienega Sports Complex in Los Angeles. The team’s business manager, Charley Wilson, was a U.S. Congress representative from 1963-81.

The pitchers were Frank Layana and Paul Schulte. Both played at Loyola and had minor-league careers. The team was comprised of Dorsey and Loyola players.

Another player, Don Kenway, was the son of the secretary for USC athletic director Jess Hill.

Maggio wrote a book about the team, “Swinging for the Fences: How American Legion Baseball Transformed a Group of Boys Into a Team of Men.”

14 thoughts on “A Monday Night History Lesson

    1. Nowhere else on the planet you find this. Scottie – the last of the USC Mohicans. He needs to be training an intern. I mean that in only the best possible social interpretation.

      Liked by 4 people

  1. Wolf, I’ll still be honest with u and give you the buisness whenever it needs to happen as you are towards USC but this is the stuff that I can only tip my hat to. Good work and that was a heck of a group. Forget the talent on the team. The bloodlines and the life outside baseball is something that is special and unique with that bunch. Good job!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Off topic but……

    USC (Andy Enfield as Coach) Basketball has beat UCLA 4 of the last 5 games with the last 3 going to USC. Also the last 3 games were against Mick Cronin.

    Say what you will about Andy Enfield but that’s call beating your rivals.

    Liked by 4 people

  3. THIS is what one should see about SC…
    forget the hellton era, it will either die by killing itself like all cancers do by killing its host…or be cut out/or some other treatment will eradicate it.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. That team had talent. A lot of those guys played or managed in the majors and won a world series or two. Very good. I notice Scotter had mentionede Loyola. What an awersome school, especially since i went to Loyola High. Go Cubs.

    Liked by 2 people

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