By RENE TORRES
As a police officer goes about his or her day, it is a given that he or she will face images of tragedy and/or humbling experiences that repeat with each changing day.
Recently, Brownsville lost a longtime retired police officer, Pat Tamayo Sr.
What people do not know about Pat Tamayo is that he had another passion. When not swinging a police baton, he swung a baseball bat as a coach for the local American Legion baseball team from the 1950s up until the mid 1960s.
American Legion baseball can be traced to the summer of 1928 and perhaps earlier. Although Tamayo did not know it at the time, there were decades of coaches that came before him, but few likely as dedicated than he.
As one of his former players, this writer was a witness to his love for the game.
His transfer of passion of a peace officer to a baseball coach had no noticeable departure. His dedication for the game was immeasurable.
In 1928, the local ALAC (American Legion Amateur Club) inaugurated a new diamond located just off the newly paved section of Jefferson Street at Palm Courts. It was here that city kids of then gathered to play America’s pastime.
It was at the “36” Diamond, on West St. Francis St., more than 70 years later, that Tamayo, Marcelo Mann and Gus Vano continued the tradition of keeping American Legion baseball alive.
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