S.J. baseball legend Ippolite dead at 83
Former minor-league pitcher Thomas Ippolite Sr., 83, of Westville passed away July 19 after a long illness. He was a member of the South Jersey Baseball Hall of Fame.
A lifelong South Jersey resident, Ippolite was offered a professional baseball contract by Connie Mack's Philadelphia A's after World War II, upon being discharged from the military.
Ippolite was considered a top pitching prospect and played for the A's farm team in Lincoln, Neb., for three seasons. His teammates and opponents included future major-league stars Bobby Schantz, Nellie Fox, Art Ditmar and Roy Sievers. His career was cut short by an elbow injury in 1949.
Born in Camden, Ippolite attended Camden High School before serving with the Army as an instructor with the 764th Field Artillery Battalion during World War II. He was awarded an American Service Medal, a Good Conduct Medal and a Victory Medal.
Following his brief stint with the A's, Ippolite worked as a dock builder and carpenter with Local Union 454 for 32 years on such area landmarks as the Walt Whitman Bridge, the Spectrum, Veterans Stadium and the Delaware Memorial Bridge.
He was a member of the American Legion, the Philadelphia Athletics' Historical Society and the Hot Stovers Baseball Club of South Jersey. He was inducted into the South Jersey Baseball Hall of Fame in 2006.