Philadelphia High School Baseball
A Look at
Bob Peffle's 19-Year
Career (1989-2007) at Frankford High
page includes stories, special lists, record breakdown, recaps of wins in
games and the names of All-City//All-Public honorees during Coach Peffle's 19 seasons.
. . . To provide additions/corrections:firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks!
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Bob Peffle, an alumnus, coached Frankford's
By Ted Silary
Farina has enough fingers, but needs two hands.
"Ed's getting shot at
every day and he's thinking about us. His calls meant so much to our kids.
Relaxed them. Put things
in perspective. I could see it on our kids' faces during the national anthem. They were thinking about Ed. And our country."
Farina surrendered two runs in the first inning and one apiece in the fifth and seventh. With the bases still loaded in the
fifth, he needed just six pitches to strike out Lihotz and Chris McNamee and keep the score at 6-3.
Lihotz and Northeast had dealt Farina his only PL regular-season setback, by a 5-1 score on May 5.
Brandon O'Malley smacked an RBI triple deep to centerfield with one out in the seventh. Farina retired Bryan Adamson
on a foul popup and Lihotz on a grounder, third baseman Jeff Newman to first baseman Geoff Minetola.
The players congregated to go berserk. The infield was not exactly crowded.
Frankford began the season with 11 varsity players. One quit barely into league play. Peffle promoted three JV players for
the playoffs, but their chances of seeing action, barring an emergency, were nil. Peffle never even bothered to use courtesy
runners for his pitcher and catcher.
"Yeah, just 10 guys," he said, smiling. "But they were a good 10. The right 10. "
The others: leftfielder Andrew Bracero, catcher Carlos Rosado, shortstop Cory Shaeffer, second baseman Richard Jimenez,
DH Ramon Reyes, rightfielder Carlos Masip and centerfielder Matt Romanusky.
The Vikings killed themselves with seven errors. Five came on throws. Frankford had just one RBI on a hit, a single by
Jimenez. He and Shaeffer got runs home with sacrifice flies and Farina did so via a bases-loaded walk.
When asked to name his proudest high school sporting moment, Farina went with the '04 wrestling final.
"We beat Northeast in that one, too," he said. "You've got 1,000 people screaming your name. The gym's erupting. It's like
As if his whole time at Frankford was not.
This story was written after Bob won his fifth and final Pub crown in 2007 . . .
By Ted Silary
TO ALTER AN old saying . . . Great things come to someone who's mostly idle while he waits.
Ask Kevin Roche about his batting average for Frankford High in the 2006 baseball season and there's not exactly a need
for a calculator. Not even a need for simple division.
Not only did Roche collect no hits, he logged no official at-bats because his one plate appearance resulted in a base on balls.
Is that any way for an inexperienced junior, mostly added to the roster for fleshing-out purposes, to prepare for a big
senior season? Apparently so.
The Pioneers are again the Public League champion - for the fifth time in the last eight seasons, in fact - and Roche, now
a 6-1, 235-pound first baseman with a sweet swing and an even better outlook on life, deserves the chance to brag as much
as anyone . . . Not that he ever would.
As Frankford yesterday outlasted Central, 7-5, at Campbell's Field in Camden, to assure that coach Bob Peffle will stroll
into retirement with one last title, Roche made big contributions again and again.
At bat, the cleanup hitter tapped out to the mound the first time. But he then offered a two-run single to left, an RBI
double to left-center that short-hopped the fence, and another one-run single on a medium-hard ball along the leftfield line.
Grand total: 3-for-4 with four RBI.
Also, with two runs home and the tying run at the plate, Roche ended the game by trotting over to Central's dugout, along
the first-base side, to catch a foul popup. His spikes wound up skidding on the concrete right after he gloved the ball and
he tumbled part way down the steps.
"I'm OK. Didn't get hurt," Roche said.
In 2006, neither did his ego.
"I wasn't a good hitter. Wasn't too good at anything," Roche said. "I understood why I wasn't playing. Some good
players were in front of me. I just tried to get better."
When Roche was asked whether he expected to get a chance in '07, he laughed and said, "I hoped."
Roche (row-shay) was born in Puerto Rico and later lived in South Carolina. He never thought of playing baseball for
Frankford until asked by Peffle, who had him in class, about halfway through last season.
"Hey, the way our numbers are, we're always looking for players," Peffle said. "The thing about Kevin was, he kept
improving. His hard work got him to this point. He learned every day.
"He started off having a long, pull-off-the-ball swing. We told him, 'Look middle-out. React in. Throw your hands. Stay
short.' He's as strong as an ox. For the last half of this season, he has been terrific. Driving in mega runs."
Peffle added that Roche and the winning pitcher, junior righthander Esteban "Shortie" Meletiche, are his no-doubt-about-it
team leaders and that they share a love for something way beyond baseball.
"I'd bet they're in church three times a week aside from Sunday," Peffle said. "And you know what Kevin has
imbedded into the side of his class ring? A cross and a Bible."
Cross. That's what Roche was with himself after his first at-bat was unproductive. Then he began boppin' and his
teammates followed suit.
His first hit tied the score at 2-2 in the second. Frank Donato and Meletiche lashed RBI doubles in the fourth for a 4-2
count, ropes by Roche and Jon Bracero (single) made it 6-2 in the fifth, then Roche - yup, him again - added one more in
the sixth for a 7-3 count.
"Mr. Peffle stayed with me. He brought me along," Roche said. "When you have a great coach - more than a coach, a
man who's like a father figure - that's what you can do, improve in all your skills.
"When you don't do nice in your first at-bat, that makes you even hungrier for the rest of them. I kept telling myself,
'Stay calm. Do your job. Get those runs in. Help us win. ' "
Said Meletiche: "Kevin gets us started a lot. You see him get nice hits and show excitement, it makes you want to follow
Off their teams' semifinal victories, Meletiche and senior righthander Jared Farbman were working on 4 days' rest.
Farbman (seven hits, six earned runs, five strikeouts) yielded to Micah Winterstein after hits by Edwin "Tito" Rohena and
Roche began the fifth. Meletiche yielded six hits and fanned 10; two of the runs were unearned.
This game also decided the District 12 Class AAAA playoff berth; Frankford will host a first-round game Monday
against the District 1 third-place finisher at a site in the city to be determined.
Tomorrow, West Chester East will play Council Rock North with the winner to play Frankford.
Tom Capewell and Zack King opened Central's seventh with singles. They later scored as Zach Magdovitz hit into a
fielder's choice and Farbman sent a popup to shallow center that became a sacrifice fly for the second out. Aaron
Esbensen's foul popup to Roche ended it.
In the last six seasons, Frankford is 100-7 against PL opponents, including playoffs.
Some of Frankford's spirited rooters, a group including many recent players, ran onto the field to celebrate. Once those
folks were shooed back to the stands, the trophy presentation was held and Peffle was surrounded by still and TV
Nearby, sub Sean Henderson and the injured Jose Burgos, using his left arm (he dislocated his right shoulder diving for
a liner in rightfield at the very start of the semifinal win over Girard Academic Music Program), held a bucket of ice and
water, waiting not so patiently for the chance to douse.
It finally came. Perfect aim, guys.
"You always want to win a championship," Meletiche said. "And from the time [roughly a month ago] coach Peffle
said he was retiring, we thought of nothing but this - letting him go out with another.
"Now I'm happy . . . I'm excited . . . and I'm glad. "
Three-for-three. Batting 1.000. On this day, Kevin Roche came pretty darn close to that very same average.
This story was written in 2007 after a state playoff setback ended Bob's career . . .
By Ted Silary
BOB PEFFLE made it fine through the postgame talk with his players.
Then, he even breezed through most of a question-answer session with three reporters.
But moments after the words "I'm going out a happy camper" tumbled out of his mouth, those that followed for about
a 30-second period were spoken in little more than a whisper, and there was a definite moisture sighting at the inner side
of his left eye.
After a 19-year career featuring numerous highs, Bob Peffle is no longer the baseball coach at Frankford High.
The end came yesterday at La Salle University as the Pioneers, the Public League/District 12 champion, fell to West
Chester East, the third-place squad in District 1, 14-0, in five innings, in the first round of the PIAA Class AAAA state
The bright spot was, Peffle's last game produced a touching first.
As the teams came off the field, second-base umpire Jim Scott held up a brand-new baseball and expressed a desperate
need for a pen.
After securing one and saying, "This day isn't about this loss; it's about what we've lost," a reference to the overall
Pub baseball family, Scott made a beeline for Peffle. He wanted his autograph, in addition to a hug. Two-for-two.
"That was nice of Scotty. He's been a good friend, and a class act," Peffle said.
Peffle, a middle-infield product of Frankford (class of 1965) and Temple, said he had not signed a ball since his days
as a Houston Astros farmhand.
"You know how that goes," he said, laughing. "Little kids want everybody's autograph. They don't even know who
they're asking. "
He added "I have a lot of autographed balls, though. Those are some of the special things you get from your players
through the years."
Peffle produced five Pub champs (all in the last eight seasons), along with three other squads that lost in finals and
six others that advanced as far as the semifinals.
His total baseball record against Pub opposition in the 19 seasons was 235-76, with a 38-14 mark in playoffs. Over
his final 11 seasons, the numbers were 153-29 and 31-6.
In wrestling, Frankford has captured the last 11 Pub titles, and Peffle was the coach for all but 2006's (hip-replacement
surgery). He also has coached La Salle High's soccer team for 20 seasons. He owns five Catholic League titles in that
sport, and he even won a soccer crown at a suburban school (Plymouth-Whitemarsh, 1985).
Although he is retiring as a teacher-coach from Frankford (assistant Juan Namnun will take over the baseball team),
he will continue to guide La Salle's soccer team.
"To be able to go to Frankford, then get back to teach and coach; not everybody's that fortunate," he said.
He said of this season: "When I remember what these guys looked like during our first practice, and then our
scrimmages in Florida . . . I scratched my head and said, 'Oh, my goodness. ' In our first game, we must have had
10 passed balls. "
This one, admittedly, included too much sloppy play.
The Pioneers committed seven errors and were roughed up for 12 runs (five, then seven) in the first two innings.
Three more in the third would have enabled WC East to cause termination by the 15-run rule.
Sophomore righthander Edwin "Tito" Rohena, who replaced junior righthander Esteban "Shortie" Meletiche in the
midst of the second-inning outburst, was able to ring up a 1-2-3 third.
At least a hint of consolation.
"Exactly," Peffle said. "I told the kids, 'Let's play this thing out. ' You try to show character with bits and pieces
[of positive play] and put together what you can, especially after that start. 'Take this game five innings. Have a
little pride.' "
Frankford collected three hits, hard singles to left by Meletiche and Rohena in the first and third, respectively, and
Jon Bracero's infield single deep behind third in the fourth. No one advanced past second base.
WC East bagged 15 hits, and maybe two were not laced. Catcher Bob Jacobs added the exclamation point in the
fifth inning with a two-run homer to exact left-center over a fence at least 20 feet high. Ryan McCafferty had three
RBI in the first two innings.
"When they did hit balls where we could have made plays and minimized damage, we didn't," Peffle said. "Things
just snowballed. That's a good team. They're where they are for a reason. "
He added: "As far as I'm concerned, I'm not going out on a sour note with these guys. These young fellows have
given me a terrific ride."
One last thought from Jim Scott . . .
"For me," he said, "it's not going to be the same."
Below are the players who earned first or second team Coaches' All-Public honors during
19 seasons (1989-2007) as the coach at Frankford.
|Pos.||FIRST TEAM||Year.||Pos.||SECOND TEAM||Year|
|1B||Ron Honeyford||1991||INF||Brian Fricker||1990|
|DH||John Stinsman||1991||DH||Ron Honeyford||1990|
|SS||John Stinsman||1992||P||Bob Dittman||1991|
|OF||Tom Sullivan||1992||2B||Hamid Nasrat||1992|
|P||Bob Dittman||1992||2B||Pat Zolk||1993|
|P||Tom Sullivan||1993||INF||Pat Zolk||1994|
|INF||Dan Campbell||1996||OF||Lovato Bowman||1994|
|INF||Bobby Granata||1996||OF||Lovato Bowman||1995|
|OF||Pat O'Neal||1996||P||Juan Namnun||1995|
|P||Fred Ewing||1996||1B||Manuel DeLaRosa||1996|
|1B||Manuel DeLaRosa||1997||INF||Bill McKeen||1996|
|INF||Bill McKeen||1997||INF||Ryan McGovern||1997|
|P||Dennis Boyles||1997||C||Matt Alturo||1997|
|1B||Dennis Boyles||1998||P||Phil Wilson||1999|
|INF||Ryan McGovern||1998||INF||Tom DiBello||2001|
|OF||Tim Neal||1998||OF||Matt Colon||2001|
|OF||Jack Redfern||1998||P||Glenn LaBadie||2001|
|INF||Ryan McGovern||1999||C||Ambioris Puntier||2002|
|OF||Ed Durfor||1999||OF||Andrew Bracero||2004|
|DH||Jim Connolly||1999||P||Richard Jimenez||2004|
|1B||Ed Durfor||2000||C||Ramon Reyes||2005|
|INF||Steve Jones||2000||OF||Edwin Burgos||2005|
|C||Jim Connolly||2000||OF||Kelinton Tejada||2005|
|INF||Joe Manini||2002||INF||Richard Jimenez||2006|
|INF||Glenn LaBadie||2002||P||Edwin Rohena||2006|
|OF||Matt Colon||2002||INF||Jon Bracero||2007|
|P||Dave Firth||2002||DH||Jose Burgos||2007|
|1B||Juan Carlos Torres||2005|
|1B||Juan Carlos Torres||2006|
Recaps of Wins in Public League Championship Games . . .