Mob's Depleted Roster Softball Team Plays On Minus Key Members

Posted: April 21, 2000

Mob softball is back under new management.

At last night's opening game, team manager Anthony Borgesi pointed grandly to his new lineup on the softball field at Capitolo Playground, 10th and Wharton streets, in South Philadelphia.

"See how my guys rally around me," said catcher Borgesi, who had vowed to take over where his brother and others left off.

To show commitment to his new team, Borgesi said he gave up a pair of $160 tickets behind the Flyers' bench in the Stanley Cup playoffs last night.

Only three weeks ago, the mob's All Stars were wiped out by a 37-count racketeering indictment, charging three murders, two attempted murders, extortion, gambling, drug dealing and an interstate theft ring.

Despite only four returning veterans, the mostly rookie team killed Daddy-Os, of Bridesburg, 23-10, last night.

Honoring last year's mob hitters, they wore black team uniforms of Rosa Foods, which memorialized on its left sleeve, the late mob leader Mike "#12" Ciancaglini, killed in a 1993 gangland slaying.

Next week, Borgesi promised fresh uniforms would be emblazoned with the new sponsor, Club Risque, a go-go bar on Columbus Avenue.

In a pep talk as players ran onto the field, Borgesi yelled: "Do it for the guys incarcerated."

Gone was star pitcher Joseph "Skinny Joey" Merlino, the reputed acting mob boss, now in federal prison in Fairton, N.J., Borgesi's brother, George, a third baseman and reputed acting consigliere, now in a Virginia jail, and Steve Mazzone, reputed acting underboss, now in Hudson County jail. If convicted, they'll play away - permanently.

Sidelined - not at the game - were mob associates Anthony Accardo, called by the feds a "designated hitter" in extortion shakedowns and Steven "Snitch" Frangipanni, accused of stealing more than bases.

Determined to polish the mob team's image, the new manager tried to persuade the softball writer not to mention he tripped enroute to homeplate and was tagged out in the bottom of the second.

The catcher-manager recouped in the next inning, stopping a seven-run rally, tagging Daddy-O's out at homeplate.

With no known felons on or off the field, third base coach Ralph "Ralphie Head" Abbruzzi, a mob associate accused of receiving stolen goods, popped out in the third inning.

With Anthony "Blue" Cianfrani calling the shots as third-base coach, the mob team rallied with four runs to take the lead, 9-7, in the fourth inning,

Anthony Imbesi hit a triple with the bases loaded in the top of the fourth. Two innings later, Mark Borgesi, hit a single, and Imbesi ran to second but was tagged out in a rundown between second and third.

"Talent runs in the family," said the manager, referring to his cousin Mark's single.

Right fielder Joseph "Joey Pop-up" DiMartino drove in three runs with a homer in the top of the seventh. Pitcher Anthony "Ant-nee" Cassise, replacing Merlino, held the South Philly postal workers on Daddy-O's to 10 runs.

Facing a Tuesday deadline for its roster, the team's four vets - Borgesi, Abbruzzi, Salvatore "Sonny" Mazzone and Frannie "Sit Down" Porter, are expected to be joined by six key sluggers: Grasso, Angelo, Dante, Mark, Rudy, Nicky. Plus Meatball and Wally.

Longing to play, but under house arrest, was Roger Vella, who asked his parole officer if he could attend last night's game, a source said.

If you do, his parole officer promised, you'll get locked up.

Send e-mail to caparek@phillynews.com

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