HENRY COPPOLA WAS A STAR!
I knew Uncle Henry played professional baseball for the Washington Senators, so he must have been a really good ballplayer. But I never knew how great he was until I started researching members of the Coppola Family in the online newspapers, Newspapers.com and GenealogyBank. When I got to Henry Coppola, I quickly found hundreds of articles from 1934 to 1939 (click year in links above). I was amazed, he was a star.
Here are some observations about the articles shown in the years above:
I was shocked to discover Uncle Henry ended his baseball career in Charlotte, NC, where I have lived almost 40 years. In 1938, the Washington Senators assigned him to play for their minor league team, the Charlotte Hornets (I had never heard of them). Moreover, the Charlotte Hornets played at Hayman Park (and I had never heard of that).
After investigation, I found Hayman Park was located at the corner of S. Mint St. and W. Bland St., half-a-mile from the current Bank of America Stadium, where the Carolina Panthers play football. I have passed this intersection countless times and never knew a ball park had been there. And I surely didn't know Uncle Henry played his last baseball game there in 1938.
This survey of newspaper articles was comprehensive and perhaps a little obsessive. Henry Coppola was one of the greatest baseball players to come from East Douglas, Massachusetts. A strong armed pitcher, whose fastball was faster than anyone else, Henry possessed the heart and determination to quickly rise to baseball's highest level. His promise was unlimited and so were the expectations. Sadly, Henry faced ongoing arm problems and health issues that robbed him of his fastball and ultimately took away his dream, far too soon. That had to be heartbreaking.
Henry Coppola was a star who never gave up!
Source: Frank Coppola
Source: Baseball Birthdays
Photo by Sporting News and
Rogers Photo Archive
Source: Getty Images
1935 Washington Senators
Source: National Museum of
Last Revised: June 18, 2020