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Paul Almonte

Ballplayers Wounded in Combat

 

Date and Place of Birth: February 4, 1921 Syracuse, NY
Date and Place of Death:    December 28, 2003 Syracuse, NY
Baseball Experience: Minor League
Position: Pitcher
Rank: Corporal
Military Unit: Headquarters Company, Armored Division US Army
Area Served: Mediterranean Theater of Operations

Paul S. Almonte was born on February 4, 1921, in Syracuse, New York. A star athlete at Vocational High School in Syracuse, the 5-foot-6-inch right-handed pitcher - with a 22-2 record - hurled the Krens to the 1940 Syracuse Herald-Journal League title and the New York State semi-pro championship before heading to spring training with the International League's Syracuse Chiefs in 1941. While there, he was signed by the Bristol Twins of the Class D Appalachian League (the club had a working agreement with the Chiefs). He was 12-6 in 31 appearances for the Twins in 1941, and 13-4 with an exceptional 1.60 ERA in 26 appearances in 1942, helping the New York Giants' farm club to the Appalachian League championship with a further two victories. At the end of the season he worked at the Armour Packing Company in Syracuse and entered military service on December 8, 1942.

Almonte was stationed at Camp Chaffee, Arkansas, with the Headquarters Company of an Armored Division, and hurled a no-hitter in an inter-company ball game. He went overseas with the army on December 1, 1943, and served in Italy. He was wounded in action near Pisa, Italy, in July 1944, suffering injuries to his left arm that required almost a year's hospitalization.

Almonte was discharged from service at Fort Dix, New Jersey, in July 1945, and returned to baseball, pitching for the semi-pro Syracuse Athletics in the Southern Tier Semi-Pro League before rejoining his old team, the Appalachian League's Bristol Twins shortly afterwards. In 10 games with the Twins, he was 5-1, with a 1.29 ERA. He pitched a complete 19-inning ball game against Kingsport, only to lose, 7 to 6, on an unearned ran. Heartbroken at the defeat, Almonte got considerable consolation out of the reaction of Bristol fans, who were so enthusiastic about his work - even in defeat - that they passed the hat and collected $100 to give to him. He advanced to the Fort Smith Giants of the Class C Western Association in 1946, where he was 14-11 with a 2.68 ERA.

Aged 26, Almonte climbed to the Trenton Giants of the Class B Inter-State League in 1947, and after two seasons with the New Jersey club, he joined the Columbia Reds of the Class A South Atlantic League, where he was 11-7 in 1949. In 1950, he began a four-year relationship with the Charleston Rebels of the Class A South Atlantic League (including a league record 63-and-two-thirds scoreless inning streak in 1953), and advanced to the New Orleans Pelicans of the Class AA Southern Association in 1954, where he pitched 44 games in relief for 7-5 record.

Aged 34, Almomte spent his final season in professional baseball with the Pelicans and the Lincoln Chiefs of the Class A Western League. In 13 seasons as a minor league pitcher, Almonte won 123 games against 83 losses.

Paul Almonte was employed by the Ralph Packing Company for 30 years before retiring in 1986. He passed away in Syracuse, New York, on December 28, 2003. He was 82 years old and is buried at St. Mary's Cemetery in DeWitt, New York.

Date Added December 26, 2017

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