I’ve just added the answer to the third and final preview question from my brand new Large Amsterdam Families Trivia Quiz. I’ll distribute the rest of this 20-question brain-teaser later this week to everyone who is on the e-mail distribution list for my Amsterdam Trivia Quizzes. There’s no charge to get on the list and you can join here. This will be the fourteenth quiz in my series.
Answer to Question No. 3: The Kuczek Family – Jack Tracy was one of the most successful and legendary high school baseball coaches this area ever produced. If he were alive today, he’d tell you that he owed a significant portion of that success to this family. Joe and Agnes Kuczek graced Tracy with six sons. They anchored a decade’s worth of the best baseball teams in AHS history. The lineage began with the eldest brother’s John and Ben. John was a hard-hitting first baseman and Ben was the first of three outstanding family shortstops. The middle two were the best of the bunch. Tracy called Eddie the greatest all-around player he ever coached and Steve was the only sibling who made it all the way to the Majors. With Eddie playing second and Steve at short, Amsterdam went undefeated for two straight seasons. Mac came next. He was a third baseman, a great hitter and also the best pitcher of all the brothers. Bernie the youngest was the outfielder in the family and he went on to play collegiate ball at Colgate as did Eddie and Steve.
Answer to Question No. 2: The Santos Family -Emanuel Santos and Isabelle Ramos were immigrants from Spain who met and married in Saratoga Springs, NY and then came to Amsterdam’s South Side, where “Manny” started a construction business with two partners, which they called the “American Construction Corporation”. The couple raised a family of six boys and a girl. The five oldest boys served in WWII and when they all returned home safely, Manny sold his share of the American Construction Co. to his partners and joined three of his sons, Ben, Peter, and Frank and his daughter Matilda in the new Santos Construction Company. Younger bothers Emanuel (Moose) and Billy would also join the company after their own military hitches ended. They would spend the next half century turning Santos Construction into one of the most respected grading and excavation firms in the area and as the years passed, a whole new generation of the family would report for work at the company’s Gilliland Avenue headquarters and eventually take over operation of the business. The only one of the original siblings who did not work for the firm was brother Sylvester, who was tragically killed in a car accident in 1958.
Answer to Question No. 1: The LaBate Family – An Amsterdam institution, 11 children, eight boys and three girls were born to Italian immigrants Annunziato and Maria Santangelo LaBate and raised in the Rug City’s East End neighborhood during the pre-WWII era. The siblings all became very active in our community, especially in sports and as each started families of their own it became almost impossible to go to a school in this city and not have at least one grandchild of Annunziato and Maria as your classmate. And their’s was always a close-knit family. One of my favorite memories was going to a wedding reception that was being bartended by the LaBate brothers. They knew everybody in town and everyone knew them so the conversations, reminiscing and laughter that accompanied their drink preparations was always a highlight of the affair. It was brother Anthony who was nicknamed after a large US city. They called him “Boston” LaBate. All 11 LaBate siblings are pictured above.