JOSEPH "JOE" ACQUARO grew up in Camden, New Jersey. He was the son of Biagio "Benny" Acquaro and the former Frances Petrella. His father had worked for the Stetson Hat Company in Philadelphia and at Sun Shoe Repair and Hat Cleaning, where he was in charge of cleaning and blocking felt hats. After his marriage, he opened his own hat cleaning business, calling it Federal Hat Cleaning, at 2314 Federal Street in East Camden, just across the street from Shellows, a well known malt and soda shop, and the hangout for local ballplayers and sport loving kids. The business was located next door to Harry Spuhler's bar, which was known as Spuhler's Grill in those days. In later times it was known as the Apollo.
In the late 1940s the Acquaro family, which included son Joseph and daughter Anna, was living at 2114 Berwick Street, home of the Berwick Bears, a great semipro football team of that era. In 1949, Benny Acquaro moved his business and family to his newly remodeled home and shop at 2713 Federal Street, which he had purchased from his wife's aunt, Mary Loscalso and her husband Mike.
Joe Acquaro got his love for the game of baseball from his father, who was an avid sportsman who and loved to watch all Philadelphia sport teams, and especially baseball's great Joe Dimaggio, when the Yankees came to town to play the Philadelphia Athletics.
Even before reaching high school, Joe Acquaro, was one of the top young ballplayers in Camden. In 1951 he won the Camden County Parks League second half batting title hitting .500, leading Camden Eastside to the league title. He continued playing in the parks, Gottschalk Twilight and American Legion Leagues. He started at third base for Woodrow Wilson High School in 1953 and 1954. The Wilson baseball team, Coached by Binney Pawlak and featuring Joe Acquaro's boyhood friend Sam Croge, won the Camden City Series, Group 3 and Sectional State Championship.
Joe's love of baseball led to his long-time involvement with the Hot Stovers Baseball Club of South Jersey. Twice selected Hot Stover of the Year, Joe was inducted into the South Jersey Baseball Hall of Fame in 2012.
late 1940s-late 1960s
FEDERAL HAT CLEANING
|Hot Stovers Baseball Club of South Jersey|
I would like to extend congratulations to you on behalf of the Hot Stover Baseball Club of South Jersey on being selected into the 2012 South Jersey Baseball Hall of Fame. The cornerstone of our efforts is our Annual Awards Banquet, which will be held on Saturday, November 24th, 2012 at Masso's Columbus Manor, located on the Black Horse Pike, Williamstown, NJ, starting at 2:00 PM. This year Vie will be celebrating our 53rd Annual Awards Banquet, and plan to make it an afternoon to remember. We hope that you and members of your family will be able to attend.
It is extremely important to be on time for the group and individual photo sessions at I :30 PM. There will be a Head Table for the opening of the program and again after dinner for the Hall of Fame Inductees - however, you will be sitting with your family and friends during dinner.
As you know the Hot Stover Baseball Club is a non-profit organization, created to promote baseball in South Jersey. Each year, we honor the teams and players who had distinguished themselves playing and coaching America's pastime. We also award scholarships to deserving high school players based on their achievements on the field and in the classroom.
We are in the process of putting together a special Commemorative Program for all those being honored. The Program Book will be given to everyone attending the banquet. It will contain information on this year's winners as well as listings of previous award winners.
Again congratulations on being selected into the 2012 South Jersey Baseball Hall of Fame.
Yours in Sports,
Stovers Baseball Club of South Jersey
Joe Acquaro has been involved in South Jersey baseball for more than five decades. He's a 1954 Woodrow Wilson High School graduate where be played third base for the '53 and 54 varsity baseball team, where they won the Camden City Series, Group 3 and Sectional State Championship teams under Hall of Famer Binney Pawlak. Teammates of his were future South Jersey Baseball Hall of Famers, Joe Canuso, Bill Davidson, Sam Croge and An Watson. Prior to entering Wilson, Acquaro had already started building a career in the independent summer leagues. In 1951 he won the Camden County Parks League second half batting title hitting .500, leading Camden Eastside to the league title. He continued playing in the parks, Gottschalk Twilight and American Legion Leagues.
Over the years, Acquaro developed a reputation as a major contributor to South Jersey baseball, working with his mentor and Hall of Fame member, the late Bob Bobo, assuming the responsibilities of what has become the Robert G. Bobo Memorial Golf Tournament and taking over as editor of the Hall of Fame Awards Banquet program. As editor, he designs it, crafts the editorial content, lays out the graphics and maintains the statistics.
Acquaro has received the Charles "Bucky" Shinn Memorial Award Hot Stover of the Year twice-2004 and 2007.
Joe is retired and along with being a proud member of the Hot Stover's, He enjoys playing golf each week with his buddies at Golden Pheasant Golf Club.
South Jersey Baseball Hall of Fame Inductee: Joseph Acquaro September 18, 2012
Stovers Baseball Club of South Jersey
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