William Penn Charter School
Baseball History

A look at the 1981 powerhouse . . .

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                                        Penn Charter's 1981 Powerhouse
  In 1981, PC stormed to a perfect 10-0 record in Inter-Ac play and finished 18-2 overall.
  The Quakers featured two future major leaguers in senior pitcher-infielder Mark Gubicza and sophomore infielder Ruben Amaro, along with a future minor leaguer in senior catcher Bob McNally.
  Four more starters -- senior first baseman-pitcher Ed Foley, senior outfielder Jay Curcio, junior infielder Brian McCloskey, soph outfielder Ed Malandro -- became prominent college athletes in baseball/football.
  The coach was Rick Mellor (OPC '69), who spent 33 seasons in charge (1979-2011) and shared coaching duties in '12 with Jon Cross. His assistants in '81 were Tony Gubicza, Mark's father, and Charlie MacFarland (OPC '43). Mellor's teams won 11 championships (seven outright).
  In league play, the Quakers scored 77 runs while allowing just 12. The overall totals were 138-32. They beat the Catholic League champion, North Catholic, 2-1, and the Public League champion, Frankford, 8-2. Their losses: 3-2 to Haverford High and 3-1 to Plymouth-Whitemarsh.
  How were the Quakers viewed by others? Here are some thoughts from Nat Kingsbury, the coach of archrival Germantown Academy: "They are a very good looking ballclub, one of the better ones I've seen in the 12 years I've been associated with a high school varsity. They're big and strong and the ball just rockets off their bats."  

  Front, L to R -- Wayne MacFarland, J.V. Giongo, Ed Malandro, co-captains Bob McNally and Mark Gubicza, Tom Harris, Ruben Amaro, Brian McCloskey.
  Back, L to R -- Coach Rick Mellor, Mike Castellani, Greg Wagner, Ed Foley, Jay Curcio, Ernie Barile, Mike Pascali, Tim Kelly, Larry Kelley, assistant Tony Gubicza.

                Scores/Recaps of Inter-Ac Games

April 16
  PC 17, Episcopal 1: Mark Gubicza cracked a grand slam and mowed down nine in six innings. Ed Foley homered twice for three RBI while Bob McNally and Ernie Barile also went yard. Ruben Amaro thumped a two-run double.
April 21
  PC 6, Chestnut Hill 2:
Lefty Ed Foley hurled a two-hitter with eight whiffs.
April 24
  PC 9, Haverford School 2: Mark Gubicza turned two homers into four RBI.
April 28
  PC 4, Malvern 2:
Mark Gubicza fanned nine and smacked a two-run homer. Ernie Barile and Jay Curcio stroked RBI singles to break a 2-2 tie in the seventh.
May 5
  PC 7, Episcopal 0:
With nearly 30 pro scouts watching, Mark Gubicza pitched a two-hitter with 13 strikeouts while hitting 92 MPH on the radar guns. Jay Curcio plated two runs with sacrifice flies and Ernie Barile laced an RBI triple. Bob McNally, Gubicza and Ed Malandro all totaled two hits, one RBI.
May 9
  PC 5, Chestnut Hill 0:
Greg Wagner hurled five innings of no-hit ball before yielding to Mark Gubicza. He proceeded to whiff five, but yielded an infield single with two away in the seventh.
May 12
  PC 5, Haverford School 4:
A two-run single by Mark Gubicza highlighted a five-run fourth. He also pitched the final three innings, allowing no hits/walks. Ernie Barile and Ed Malandro also had big hits in the fourth.
May 15
  PC 7, Malvern 0:
Mark Gubicza allowed three hits, fanned eight. Ed Foley clubbed a three-run homer to the other batting cage in dead center and Ed Malandro ripped a two-run single, also to center.
May 19
  PC 10, Germantown Academy 0:
Mark Gubicza pitched the first four innings and posted two RBI as the Quakers completed a 10-0 league campaign.
Date Unavailable
  PC 6, Germantown Academy 1:
Mark Gubicza, Ed Foley and Greg Wagner combined on a two-hitter. Gubicza had two doubles, three RBI. Foley doubled and tripled.

     Bios of Starters Who Played College/Pro Sports

  Ruben Amaro -- Starting outfielder for Stanford's 1987 College World Series champs. Led the team in runs (77), triples (six) and stolen bases (38). Drafted in the 11th round by California and played in the majors from 1991-98. Served as the Phillies' GM from 2008-15 and is now the first base coach for the Red Sox.

  Jay Curcio -- Played football at Villanova in 1985 and '86 as the school revived the sport after dropping it following the '80 season. Started at cornerback and was a co-captain in '86.

  Ed Foley -- Played two years of baseball at Penn. In his main sport, football, played on the offensive line for teams that won shared Ivy titles in '82 and '83 and an outright crown in '84. Earned first team All-Ivy honors at tackle in '84. Coach of the nationally famous Little Quakers for more than three decades and serves PC as an associate directors of athletics (boys).

  Mark Gubicza -- Selected in the second round (No. 34) by Kansas City in the 1981 draft. Pitched from 1984-97 in the majors, going 132-136 with a 3.96 ERA. Member of the Royals' 1985 World Champions. Chosen for the AL's all-star teams in 1988 and '89. Now serves as the color man for Angels' TV broadcasts.

  Ed Malandro -- Was named the ECAC's Division III Rookie of the Year for his exploits at running back for Ursinus in 1983. A shoulder injury one game into his sophomore year ended his grid career. Later enjoyed quality moments in baseball.

  Brian McCloskey -- Played quarterback at Ursinus. Departed with the school record for passing yards in a career (4,402) along with marks for TD passes in a game (five), season (15) and career (35). Honorable mention All-Centennial Conference. Served as PC's head football coach for 14 seasons, winning 80 games and seven championships. Was also a baseball assistant. Still teaches at PC.

  Bob McNally -- Caught pretty much every inning of every game in four varsity seasons at La Salle. The '85 Explorers went 31-20 and came within a whisker of advancing to the College World Series. After La Salle, played for two years in the Atlanta Braves' farm system.

Most Common Lineup/Batting Order . . . 
Mark Gubicza

Brian McCloskey, 2B, junior
Ruben Amaro, SS, sophomore
Bob McNally, C, senior
Mark Gubicza, P, senior
Ed Malandro, CF, sophomore
Ed Foley, 1B, senior
Ernie Barile, RF, senior
Jay Curcio, LF, senior
Larry Kelley, 3B, senior

Daily News All-City Honorees

Mark Gubicza, Pitcher of Year
Ed Foley, 1B
Bob McNally, C
Brian McCloskey, INF
Greg Wagner, P
Gubicza appeared in 11 games, going 8-1 with an 0.48 ERA.
He allowed 27 hits and 25 walks while notching 83 strikeouts. (The Player of the Year was Central sr. C John Marzano, who also reached the major leagues.)
All-Inter-Ac Honorees

Mark Gubicza, P/MVP
Bob McNally, C
Ed Foley, 1B
Ed Malandro, OF
Jay Curcio, OF
Ernie Barile, OF


Ed Foley


By Ted Silary
  Some stood. Others sagged into beach chairs. Some parked their butts along low concrete walls near the benches. Others
seized spots in the stands behind first and third base.
  Nearly 30 scouts, representing most teams in major league baseball, turned out yesterday to view another awesome
performance by Mark Gubicza, the current and future pitching phenom from Penn Charter School.
  Opposition was offered by Episcopal Academy, but only to a certain extent.
  The Churchmen slapped 2 hits, milked 4 walks, struck out on 13 occasions and failed to pull even one ball all game while
losing, 7-0.
  Almost to a man, the scouts were bug-eyed. Those unimpressed must be myopic.
  "Each time I pitch, more and more scouts seem to come," noted Gubicza, a 6-5, 210-pound righthander with a 92 MPH
fastball. "Last Tuesday against Malvern, there were as many scouts as today. This time, they did something different. A
few walked over to watch me warm up. I thought to myself, 'This must really mean something. ' "
  Many teams have already ordered two or more cross-checkers to catch Gubicza's act and rumors are beginning to swirl
like trash before a summer storm that his name could be called in the first few rounds of the June draft.
  HIS STATISTICS read like something from a fairy tale: 7 games, 6-1 record, 43 innings pitched, 22 hits, 4 earned runs,
22 walks, 64 strikeouts, 0.65 ERA.
  Mark's latest gem started in a disappointing way for no-hitter fans when Matt Ryan, the first batter, poked a seeing-eye
single that barely eluded the reach of second baseman Brian McCloskey. Mike Trudel got the other hit, a legitimate
one-hop liner to right, as the leadoff hitter in the fourth.
  Jay Curcio plated two Penn Charter runs with sacrifice flies. An RBI triple by Ernie Barile was also a highlight.
  "I'd like to pitch a no-hitter," Gubicza admitted, smiling. "I probably won't because I want to so much.
  "The last two games, the good velocity hasn't been there. Today, it took some time to get loose. I need more work. I'm
only pitching once a week because some other guys (notably Ed Foley, junior Greg Wagner) can really throw, too. Last
Friday, I was gonna pitch the last two innings against Germantown Academy just to get loose, but the game was called
due to rain after five."
  Meanwhile, calls continue to bombard the Gubicza household at the rate of 15 to 20 a week. Mark's father, Tony,
assistant to Penn Charter Coach Rick Mellor, handles most calls from pros and allows Mark to chat a few minutes with
college coaches.
  Only one more college visit, to Duke, is planned.
  "I'D LIKE TO get this over," Mark said. "The more things happen, the cloudier things get. But I'll know in a month.
College or the minors."
  Although Gubicza receives 90 percent of the bouquets flung the Little Quakers' way, the other half of the battery isn't
exactly performing like his cells are dry.
  McNally has caught Gubicza for four years, including one on JV, and does most of the twosome's thinking. What's
more, he boasts a strong arm, productive bat and gaudy bloodlines. Bob's father, Ralph, and uncle, Butch, an assistant
at La Salle College, once formed a talented and laugh-inducing battery for Roxboro in the Pen-Del League.
  Exchanges like this were not uncommon:
  Ralph, after Butch had nixed two signs: " I asked for a fastball. Throw it."
  Butch: "You want a fastball. Come out here and throw it yourself."
  Ralph: "& % &*."
  Butch: "You, too."
  "I remember watching 'em play," Bob said. "For a long time, I thought fighting between players was a major part
of baseball.
  "I used to play shortstop, but my father shifted me to catcher in ninth grade. He always tells me to play aggressive ball,
to run the game. I pattern myself after him."
  Like almost everyone else, McNally realized last year Gubicza owned gobs of potential. How much, however, he just
wasn't sure.
  "HE ALWAYS THREW hard, always won lots of games and always was consistent in terms of throwing strikes,"
said McNally, who plans to attend either La Salle or South Carolina. " The slider made the difference. He didn't throw
that pitch as a junior.
  "Catching Mark is a challenge. He throws so hard, you must stay on your toes. It's like a continual test. When I can
help guide him to a good performance, it makes me feel great. When someone gets a hit, I feel it's my fault because
Mark hardly ever shakes me off."
  McNally does, however, shake Gubicza up on occasion.
  "He has a temper," Mark said. "When he thinks I'm messing up, he'll throw the ball back hard or give me the evil eye
or raise his voice. I like that, though. It keeps my head in the game."


  By Ted Silary
  No one would have raised an eyebrow if Ed Foley had been a nondescript student at Bishop McDevitt, just doing his
work and never participating in after-school functions.
  But by the summer of '79, as he prepared for senior year, Ed Foley seemed ready not only to emerge as the school's
most visible student-athlete, but also seize the principal's chair.
  Ed already had been named to captain the football team and an election to name him baseball captain would have
been a mere formality. In basketball, Ed also would have been a big contributor to a squad that was entertaining thoughts
of a playoff berth for the first time since '69.
  Furthermore, it wasn't like the family ties with McDevitt were hanging by some loose thread. Eight of Ed's 11 brothers
and sisters already had graduated from the school and his dad, Jack, was serving as the assistant athletic director.
  "SORRY," ED SAID, in so many words. "I have the chance of a lifetime and I'd be a fool not to take it."
  What Ed had was a chance to attend Penn Charter, one of the top academic schools in the country. Now, two years
later, Foley has gained admittance to
the prestigious Wharton School at Penn and has received permission to play both
football (probably offensive tackle) and baseball (pitcher, first base).
  "When the decision was made, it wasn't with last year or this year in mind," Foley said yesterday, after the Little
Quakers bumped Malvern Prep, 7-0, to
clinch the Inter-Ac baseball championship. "My thinking was directed 10 years
down the road. The things this school can do for you are amazing. My last year at McDevitt, maybe one college coach
came in to talk to me. Here, I talked with 40.
  "I went from a loser to a winner. That helped build character. This is no knock at McDevitt, but I might have wound
up at a place like Montco (Montgomery County Community) . Instead, I had a choice between Penn and
Believe me, I owe a lot to this place."
  The pleasure has been all Penn Charter's. Foley, who boasts dimensions of 6-3, 215, is as classy as they come and
good-naturedly answers to nicknames referring to his size (Bumper) and supposed old-man looks (Pops, Gramps).
  IN THE FOURTH inning, Foley blasted a three-run homer that the strongest men in baseball would have been proud
to call their own. Ironically, Foley had suffered without a hit through three games and one more at-bat before the
blast after finishing the first round of league play with 10 hits in 14 at-bats.
  "Before the homer," Foley said, "Mr. Gubicza (Tony, assistant to Rick Mellor) called time and told me, 'Just go with
the outside curves.' The count went to 2-1 and I figured he'd try to challenge me with a fastball. It came right in there."
  Foley wasn't the only bright light as Charter upped its overall record to 17-2 with Tuesday's finale at Germantown
Academy remaining.
  The winners turned two double plays and committed just one error behind phenom Mark Gubicza, who allowed 3
hits and 2 walks while mowing down 8.
  "Sometimes we're too relaxed when Mark pitches," Mellor said. "Almost all the balls go to the right side or the batters
strike out. It lulls us to sleep. In the third or fourth, the kids realize, 'Hey, even if Mark shuts them out, that gives us
nothing more than a tie.' They get the sticks moving and we're usually all right.
  "This is a great bunch of kids. They treat each other as equals. Mark's headed for the pros, might go in the first
round of the draft. You'd never know it. He's just one of the guys."
  Foley is also just one of the guys, though a mite oversized.
  "A couple times this year," he said, "opposing coaches came up to me and said, 'Hi, coach, my name's so-and-so,
how's it going?' Some coaches even thought Mr. Mellor was a player. Geez, I'm not even the oldest guy on the team.
Bob McNally is. Gimme a break.
  Ed Foley has already received his break, though his departure broke hearts at Bishop McDevitt.
  "It was tough," Ed said, "but we treated it like a college decision. We made up a list of plusses and minuses and
Penn Charter came out way ahead."
  Next stop: Ivy League. Future outlook: Splendid.