The recent death of Eddie Howa brings back to mind a memorable Saturday afternoon in mid July at the Helper baseball park in 1940.
Eddie was a member of the Helper American Legion baseball team that won the state championship that summer. Helper hosted the state Legion tournament that year and in the course of the week's action, Brigham City and Helper advanced to play in the championship game.
The two teams struggled through 12 long innings before Helper prevailed. Eddie was the right fielder on that team that included Sam Rachele as catcher, Angelo Venturelli the pitcher, Burton (Peewee) Davis at first base, Mike Pavlos at second, Art Ray at shortstop and Johnny Zupon at third base. With Eddie in right field the outfield also had Rex Berry in center and Dick Ricci in left, All played the entire game,
The team manager was George Pizza,a math instructor at the Helper Junior High at the time and later school principal. Venturelli pitched all 12 innings, collapsing on the mound when he struck out the last Brigham City batter. He had 16 strike outs in the game including six in the last two innings. Helper won the title by a score of 8-7.
The team participated in the regional Legion tournament in Phoenix, Ariz. the next month.
Some eighteen months later Japan attacked Pearl Harbor and all of the 17-year old players, with the exception of Ray, were destined for military service. Ray died a couple of years later of a heart ailment. Eddie served in the Marine Corps. With Eddie's death there is only one lone survivor of that team, Rachele, who now resides in Oregon. He is approaching his 90th birthday.
A day to be remembered in the long and glorious history of the Helper baseball field.