The members of the 1983 championship West Allis Hale baseball team finally held their long-awaited reunion last week, even if it was a few days later than planned.
Joe Machmueller, Bob Staskunas, Rob Walsh, Jeff Kovnesky, Gene Schall, Bruce Potochich and Rob Navarette all attended the current Hale team's game with Franklin at Belich Field on June 26.
Those seven, along with Joe Marchese, Matt Levenhagen, Doug Kosciuk, Dan Flemming and Bill Bishop, who were unable to be present, all played on Hale's 1983 conference championship squad.
The group was honored in pre-game ceremonies marking the 30th anniversary of that title.
"This was a nice honor and we are very appreciative of coach (Paul) Dooley's invitation," Navarette said.
The reunion was originally scheduled for June 21, but that night's Hale game was postponed by rain.
The makeup was set for June 26 and became part of a two-city evening doubleheader for Franklin, which also played West Allis Central at home that day.
The Sabers left Franklin immediately after their 3-1 victory over the Bulldogs and traveled to West Allis for the nightcap.
Navarette said despite the rescheduling, the reunion was a memorable event.
"It was great to see everyone again," he said. "Most of the players still live close to the area, with a few living out of state. It was nice to get together, talk about the good old days and be together as a group."
Navarette said the reunion also gave some players the chance to catch up with current Hale baseball.
"Some of the guys hadn't seen the field in many years and were very impressed with the improvements to the overall complex," Navarette said.
As it turned out, any players who stayed for the game saw a wild, high-scoring 22-8 victory for Franklin in a contest that did not end until after 11:30 p.m.
The 1983 Hale squad had 12 players and was coached by Jim "Chach" Sagorac and Joe Thompson. The Huskies finished 14-4 that year, a far cry from the 30-game seasons most teams play today.
"Our team did not have a lot of power, as we went the entire year without hitting a home run," Navarette recalled. "We had a lot of team speed and led the conference in triples. We were a close-knit group of friends who loved the game and really enjoyed playing for such a great coach as Jim Sagorac."
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