April 17 – Happy Birthday Vince Condello

vinceMary Jo Condello Anderson was born too early. She was one of the best Amsterdam female athletes of my generation. If Title 9 had been around when we were going through school and she was encouraged to stick with sports, I believe she would have had her pick of division one schools, that’s how physically gifted she was as a kid. But this post isn’t about my life-long friend Mary Jo.

Because she was so good at sports, she would sometimes hang around with us guys when we were all in grade school at old Guy Park Avenue Elementary. One afternoon, perhaps after a baseball or football game on Carmichael Street, I remember going up to her house on Division Street for a cold drink and as soon as we walked in, seeing a piano filled with more trophies than I’d ever seen in my life. A lot of them had flying birds mounted on top. That’s how I initially learned that Mary Jo’s dad, was a racer of pigeons. In fact, he was considered one of the best practitioners of this sport in the entire country.

Vince Condello was born in Amsterdam on April 17, 1924. He grew up on James Street, where he became good friends with guys like Eddie Buczek and Steve & Matt Popielarz who introduced their Italian neighbor to pigeon racing…

You can read the rest of my story about this Amsterdam native in my new book “A Year’s Worth of Amsterdam Birthdays.” To order your copy, click here.

3 thoughts on “April 17 – Happy Birthday Vince Condello

  1. I have very fond memories of Mr. and Mrs. Condello and the entire family and can recall seeing those pigeons for the first time and being amazed that they could be trained to race. And speaking of athletes, Tony was a pretty good one in his own right. He could hit a baseball and I don’t think (pound for pound) there was a better football player on the varsity team.

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