Bruno Sammartino, R.I.P.

My good friend David Gordon is an avid professional wrestling fan and probably already knows this, but the great Bruno Sammartino, former heavyweight champion of the world, has passed away.  I met Bruno when I was 10-12 years old and there was a professional wrestling venue at the baseball field in my hometown of New Castle, PA.  Bruno had family in town, right on Croton Avenue a few blocks from my elementary school, so my buddies and I would hang out there on the big front porch after the wrestling matches.  (My father’s family, as Bruno’s, was from Abruzzo, Italy).

We would usually climb over the outfield fence to get in to the matches.  I remember everyone putting a dollar in a hat, and whoever could get away with punching one of the wrestlers (Gorilla Monsoon, Haystack Calhoun, and other villains) in the back as he lumbered up to the ring and then running away into the crowd would get all the money (never much more than $5-6).  Rest in peace, Bruno.


9:16 pm on April 22, 2018