Philadelphia High School Baseball

A Look at Joe McDermott's 31-Year Coaching
Career at Father Judge High (1976-2006)

  This page includes stories, special lists, record breakdown, recaps of wins in championship games
and (at the bottom) the names of all All-Catholic honorees during Coach McDermott's 31 seasons. . . .
To provide additions/

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Father Judge's 1987 Catholic League champions

Joe McDermott

Coach McDermott's

# - Played in MLB

Marc Fleming OF 1978
Dave Gallo INF 1979
Mike Stankiewicz INF 1980
Cosmo Losco OF 1980
Harry Murray OF 1982
Pat Waninger P 1982
Mark Iacovelli INF 1985
Kerry Cahill INF 1986
Chris Gies P 1987
George Beisel INF 1990
Kevin McGerry P 1997
Kris Dufner INF 1998
Brian Kearney C 1999
Eric Ruhland OF 2000
Dale Curry DH 2003
Matt Compton P 2005
Matt Compton DH 2006
Ron Filippo OF 1988
#Bob File INF 1994
Jim Hockel C 1977
Joe Healy P 1979
Mike Stankiewicz INF 1979
Stanley Brach C 1982
Dennis Minich INF 1982
Mark Iacovelli INF 1984
Brian Golderer DH 1984
Kerry Cahill INF 1985
Tom Robinson OF 1985
Joe Morgan P 1988
Jim Benner DH 1989
Brian Peacher OF 1990
Tony Luca C 1991
Kevin McGerry P 1996
Brian Kearney C 1998
Bob Greenfield 1B 2000
Dennis Klinger DH 2000
Jim Hasher INF 2001
Steve Sellers 1B 2003
Mark Singer P 1980
Paul Mazurek P 1982
John Higgins OF 1982
Chris Gies P 1986
Jeff Jordan P 1989
Doug Briggs OF 1989
Ken Vogt P 1990
Tony Luca C 1990
Greg Viscusi INF 1992
Bob File INF 1993
Jason Berghaier C 1993
Tom Hellwarth P 1994
Kris Dufner INF 1997
Mike Gies DH 1998
Mark Dickson DH 2001
Paul Koenig P 2001
Harry Crane INF 2002






Joe McDermott
Tribute Page

  Joe McDermott coached baseball at Father Judge for 31 seasons (1976-2006), winning 319 league games and five Catholic League championships along with one City Title. In '82, the Crusaders completed a perfect league campaign (16-0, 2-0 in playoffs) by beating Carroll, 6-1, for the championship. Here is that story . . .

By Ted Silary

  Catholic League Northern Division baseball coaches, voting at the close of the regular season, determined that Pat Waninger, the productive pitcher and first baseman from Father Judge, would be the obvious MVP choice.
  The next day, Waninger uttered the obvious words to his teammates, noting that he "couldn't have done it" without them, that "everyone on the team is an MVP," that he "would love to share the award."
  Yesterday, Pat Waninger finally received the chance to prove that his words of a half-month ago weren't hollow.
Because of his four-hit pitching, Waninger was selected MVP as Judge flattened Archbishop Carroll, 6-1, in a championship game as drab as the weather. But the trophy remained Waninger's sole possession for no more than 15 minutes.
  "All I have left is the top part, the cup and the man trying to bat," Waninger said late yesterday afternoon.
"We were celebrating pretty hard on the bus back to Judge and the trophy kind of fell apart.
  "I was left with the cup and the man, but the other eight to 10 pieces were on the floor. Jim Gallo, one of our subs, saw what happened and yelled, 'Why
don't you share that?' That's what I did.
  "It was fun. We're riding through the streets and kids are hanging out windows waving pieces of trophy."
  TYPICALLY, NO pieces dropped. At Erny Field and on the way back, the Crusaders were superb with balls or hunks of trophy in their hands, just as they'd been - with one insignificant exception, a misplayed bleeder - in last week's division final.
  These Crusaders will be most remembered for the unblemished 18-0 record and an 8.1 average victory margin during the regular season.
  Yet, the string of ultra-neat scoresheets will leave a more lasting impression with at least one person who enjoyed watching them play.
  "Like always, the guys played great defense behind me," Waninger said. "Anyone could have pitched for this team."
  Even someone who isn't really a pitcher, who doesn't like to pitch, for gosh sakes.
  Until talented returnee Craig Canning suffered a season-killing bad back before the regular season, Waninger was supposed to help Coach Joe McDermott
on the mound in emergency situations only. Instead, Pat won nine consecutive games and fashioned an 0.80 ERA, allowing 39 hits in 61 innings.
  "I am still not a pitcher," Pat said. " I was just a replacement for Craig. If Craig had been healthy, he would done everything I did - probably better.
  "The one thing I liked about pitching was that it helped me earn another great jacket. Next week at the shore, I'm gonna wear the football championship jacket (Pat starred at defensive back and punter) every single minute. And it's a winter jacket.
  "I WAS HESITANT to pitch because I like to bat too much. In college, they have the DH. I was saying, 'If I do well as a pitcher, they'll recruit me like that. I'll never hit again.' "
  Late developments notwithstanding, Waninger will attend Temple, where he's scheduled to play first . . . and pitch.
  "The coach (Skip Wilson) didn't even know I play first until Coach McDermott mentioned it," Waninger said, laughing. "He wanted me for pitching. Hard to believe.
  "Every pitch I have, I borrowed from last year's pitchers. I got two different curves from Craig Canning and Tom Nadolski. Mark Singer taught me the knuckler, but the first few times I tried it, the outfielders got too
tired chasing after the balls. Coach McDermott taught me the slider.
  "I would have been more than happy being the left-handed reliever. Instead, he ( McDermott ) came to look upon me as his ace."
  Forgotten man Paul Mazurek, also 7-0 during the regular season, almost got the call in the fourth as Waninger allowed a one-out single to Joe Innes and
walked Chuck Kedra, Chris Pheneger and Ed Walsh on 15 pitches to force in a run.
  "I was almost hoping Paul would come in," Pat said.
"All season, it was me and Paul, me and Paul. Then we got to the last two games and Paul never got in. The feeling was, go with the hot hand. But Paul's the pitcher. I just hope people don't forget what he meant to this team."
  While people are at it, they shouldn't downplay the contributions of shortstop Dennis Minich. Early, Minich battled with eventual third baseman Mark Daley for the job. Later, he did a fantastic job battling every ground
  continued right below . . .

1976: 12-4
1977: 13-3
1978: 16-0
1979: 13-3
1980: 11-5
1981: 11-5
1982: 16-0
1983: 9-7
1984: 9-7
1985: 10-6
1986: 11-5
1987: 10-7
1988: 12-4
1989: 9-7
1990: 10-6
1991: 6-10
1992: 9-7
1993: 10-6
1994: 8-6
1995: 5-9
1996: 4-10
1997: 13-5
1998: 15-3
1999: 10-7
2000: 15-3
2001: 11-7
2002: 8-10
2003: 10-8
2004: 7-10
2005: 9-5
2006: 7-7
31 Seasons
League - 319-181

1976, 1982, 1985, 1987, 2000

Mike Goida, 3b
Walt Kosiek, 1b
John Orminski, 2b
Jim Hockel, c
Tim McBride, rf
Tom Ullmer, cf
Lou Nicastro, ss
Nick DiLaurentis, lf
Shawn O'Neill, p
Tim Myers, lf
Kevin Conroy, 2b
Harry Murray, cf
Stan Brach, c
Pat Waninger, p
John Higgins, rf
Bob Heck, 1b
Mark Daley, 3b
Dennis Minich, ss
Mark Iacovelli, ss
Kerry Cahill, 3b
Paul Weeks, 2b
Tom Robinson, lf
Ron Brunner, 1b
Mike Cummiskey, rf
Bill Shappell, cf
Mike Hagan, c
Mike Wieczorek, p
Mike Metzger, ss
Steve Elinski, 3b
Carmen Caserta, 1b
Chris Walton, c
Chris Gies, p
Ron Filippo, lf
John Glaser, rf
Kevin Henes, cf
Tom Bachman, 2b
Matt McKenna, rf
Kirk Bucholski, cf
Eric Ruhland, p
Dennis Klinger, 3b
Bob Greenfield, 1b
Bill Reilly, ss
Chris Muessig, lf
John Horcher, 2b
Mark Dickson, c

  "My basic feeling was that Coach McDermott was putting me out there so I could hang myself," Dennis said, laughing. "I
had other ideas.
  "I said as a freshman, 'I won't leave Father Judge without making All-Catholic and winning the championship. ' I reached
both goals, but it wasn't easy. I rode the bench last year and led cheers. I worked hard, especially on fielding. That would be
my ticket to a starting job. Every hit would be a bonus."
  As it turned out, Minich hit .367 during the regular season and yesterday went 1-for-2, notching the Crusaders' lone RBI
with a two-out single to right in the sixth. The other five runs scored on errors.
  DEFENSIVELY, Minich handled four chances in perfect fashion, just as he'd  done against Egan.
  "What's so great about Minich is that he wants every ground ball," said a rival coach. "Most kids stand there thinking, 'Hit it
to somebody else.' "
  "I'm coming forward every time the bat hits the ball," Minich said. "Even on a line drive, I'll take a step forward before
catching it. When you come forward, you're in command.
  The night before the Catholic League all-star game, Minich twisted his right ankle and fired a pair of bad throws.
  "It did not shake my confidence. Not one bit," he said. "I waited for my nkle to heal so I could plant on the throw. There
was nothing wrong with my arm."
  In retrospect, there was nothing wrong with Joe McDermott's decision to employ Pat Waninger's left arm for pitching
purposes, either.
  " But remember, I'm not a pitcher," Waninger said. " I just happened to do it for a while."

This story was written after Joe guided the Crusaders to their third championship
over a six-year stretch . . .

By Ted Silary
  The secret to Chris Gies's abundantly successful pitching for Father Judge in the Catholic League baseball playoffs can
be found in a glove.
  Not Gies's glove, mind you. In fact, you could look all day in Gies's fielder's mitt and not find a thumbtack or a piece
of sandpaper, two of the items covertly used to doctor a baseball.
  The glove we are talking about belongs to catcher Chris Walton. Look inside and, voila!, there's a sponge.
  "Before, I didn't need any padding when Chris was pitching," Walton said. ''But when he started popping the ball
about halfway through the season, I went to a sponge.
  "Even with one, my hand usually feels sore. I can feel it the most at the plate. It's tough to put my left index finger on
the bat."
  Funny. Throughout the playoffs, which culminated yesterday at Temple's Erny Field as Judge cruised to a 6-2
title-game victory over Monsignor Bonner, opponents often found it tough to put their bats on baseballs pitched by Gies
(rhymes with nice).
  The senior righthander limited Bonner to four hits - two came with two out in the seventh inning - and one earned run
while walking one and striking out seven.
  Gies, who was hindered by a back injury much earlier in the season, pitched 22 innings in four playoff appearances,
including complete-game victories over La Salle, Archbishop Wood and Bonner and one inning in relief (for a save)
against Bishop Kenrick. He allowed 8 hits, 2 runs, 1 earned run and 2 walks while striking out 22. His ERA: 0.32.
  No wonder coach Joe McDermott, who has won four championships in 12 seasons (also 1976, '82 and '85), did not
hesitate when he noted that Gies must rank among the top three pitchers he has coached.
  Then, he went further.
  "In terms of what lies ahead for Chris, meaning how much better he's going to get, he might be the best," McDermott
said. "Once he gets it in his mind that he should strictly be a pitcher, and he decides to spend more time on it, he should
become a lot better than anybody I've ever coached."
  Little more than a week ago, despite his good size (6-2) and the fact that he was pitching creditably for a third
consecutive varsity season, Gies faced the prospect of having nowhere to take his impressive right arm. But Temple
coach Skip Wilson offered a scholarship last Friday and at least three schools - La Salle, Villanova, West Virginia -
yesterday gave McDermott the impression that they intend to do the same.
  Don't mind Gies. He's only bewildered.
  "I'm kind of surprised that all of this is happening at once, and that everybody waited so long," he said. "I guess maybe
they were waiting for me to prove something.
  "For me to go somewhere else, these schools would have to match or top Temple's (scholarship package) offer. I think
I'd like to stay at home. But if I did go away, it would be to someplace far. I guess I'd consider a school in a
warm-weather place."
  Bonner scored a fifth-inning run when shortstop Ed Pennock reached on an error, advanced to third on leftfielder
Chris Boyle's one-out single and raced home on a wild pitch. In the seventh, third baseman Pete Klein hammered a
two-out triple to dead center and Boyle followed with an RBI single to right.
  "I was too excited," Gies admitted. "I wanted to get the last out on a strikeout, so I kept throwing fastballs. They knew
they were coming, I guess. They were just trying to get a piece of one."
  "One more hit," McDermott said, smiling, "and I was ready to head out there and go into one of my (rant and rave)
  A few words would have been blue, no doubt, and Chris Gies's ears would been singed bright red.
  When it comes to speaking his mind, whether to his players, opposing coaches or even reporters, no Catholic League
baseball coach can hold a strained vocal chord to Joe McDermott, whose team, for the second time in three years, has
earned a championship after finishing in a third-place tie in the North.
  Such an accomplishment necessitates a four-game sweep, by the way. This year, the Crusaders would have watched
the playoffs if they had dropped their final game to Archbishop Ryan.
  "Once we get in the playoffs, I feel the pressure is on everybody else," McDermott said. "Being Judge helps. We've
been here so many years. Also, a lot of people don't particularly like me. They like to beat me so much that . . . "
  They get distracted, perhaps? Or intimidated?
  Whatever. The way Gies pitched during the nine-day playoff period, little else mattered.
  "The more the pressure's on, the better he pitches," Walton said. "He throws his fastball harder and it has a lot more
movement. Today's fastball seemed like his best. And it was tailing inside (to righthanded batters). I don't remember
that happening before. "
  Two years ago, when Judge defeated St. James in the finale, Gies received an early relief call and went on to pitch
6 2/3 innings of three-hit, shutout ball.
  "There was a lot more pressure this year," Gies said. "When you're a sophomore, you're thinking, 'Ah, I've got two
years left. ' I didn't want to go off to college having lost a championship game. I was really ready to pitch this game.
Even if I hadn't felt that great physically, I would have put my mind to it and gotten the job done somehow."
  Meanwhile, Judge's most productive workers on offense could be found at the top of the order.
  Shortstop Mike Metzger (single), third baseman Steve Elinski (sacrifice), junior first baseman Carmen Caserta (RBI
double) and Walton (RBI single) posted a two-spot against righthander Joe Boyle in the first inning. Metzger (single)
nd Elinski (double) had RBI in a three-run fourth and Elinski's single plated a sixth-inning run.
  "Every time a team wins a championship, the coach says, 'This one's the best,' " McDermott said. "I won't say that.
But I will say I feel very good for these guys. Talentwise, they're not the best team I've had. But they definitely
pulled together."
  TITLE TIDBIT: Chris Gies's final league pitching stats: 8-3 record, 74 2/3 innings, 54 hits, 14 earned runs, 12
walks, 85 strikeouts, 1.31 ERA.

This story was written after Joe and the Crusaders captured the City Title in
1976 by a score more common in football . . .


This story was written when Joe retired in 2006 . . .

By Ted Silary
  The annual rumor has turned to fact: Joe McDermott is no longer the baseball coach at Father Judge High.
  After winning five Catholic League championships (1976, '82, '85, '87, 2000) and compiling a league-play mark
of 349-199, counting playoffs and the City Title game in '76, in which Judge topped Central, McDermott yesterday
announced his retirement.
  The reason is threefold: health, family and that general, it's-just-time feeling.
  McDermott has a lingering leg problem, and for most of last season he was immobile while coaching.
  "I can't coach from the dugout. That's not me," he said. "I don't like it. At all. My doctor said I couldn't go back
to the third-base coach's box. Any sudden movement, I could further damage my leg.
  "Plus, I'll be 60 in the spring. Time for a change. Time to enjoy our shore house and give more time to my wife
[Marylou] and two daughters [Lauren, Carla]. Lauren's ready to give us our first grandchild, so that's exciting, too."
  McDermott grew up in Hunting Park and was schooled at St. Stephen, Roman Catholic (class of 1965) and what
was then St. Joseph's College. A lefty, he was an outstanding pitcher at Roman. Aside from tossing no-hitters, he
went all 15 innings in a 3-2 loss to St. James.
  McDermott coached for 36 consecutive years at Judge, counting five as an assistant to Henry King. A running gag
for maybe the last 10 was his end-of-the-season statement, "This could be it for me. If I retire, I'll let you know."
  "Hey, how many years can you push it back?" he said, laughing. "I've gotta get out. Let someone else do it.
Now's the time.
  "I'd like to thank the faculty and administration and, of course, all the players. We had some great ones. No one
wins without talent."

Recaps of victories in Catholic League championship games . . .

At Temple's Erny Field
Judge 7, O'Hara 0
    Shawn O'Neill pitched a two-hitter and ended the game with a flourish, notching his seventh strikeout after O'Hara loaded the bases. O'Hara committed seven errors, so Judge collected just three RBI -- two by Lou Nicastro, one by Tom Ullmer (three hits).
At Temple's Erny Field
Judge 6, Carroll 1
    The Crusaders got plenty of help while concluding an 18-0 league campaign; five of their six runs scored on errors. No. 9 hitter Dennis Minich, a slick-fielding shortstop, had the lone RBI on a sixth inning single. Pat Waninger pitched a four-hitter with six strikeouts and was given an MVP trophy. During the bus ride back to Judge, heavy celebrating caused the trophy to break. Numerous players got pieces and waved them out the windows. Carroll's Dave Lafferty went 2-for-4.
At Temple's Erny Field
Judge 11, St. James 5
    Walking none and striking out none, sophomore reliever Chris Gies pitched 6 2/3 innings of three-hit shutout ball and received huge support from Ron Brunner (3-for-4, double, five RBI) and Mike Hagan (three-run homer). Bob Christy had two RBI in St. James' five-run first.
At Temple's Erny Field
Judge 6, Bonner 2
    Chris Gies allowed four hits and one walk and fanned seven as the Crusaders triumphed. Steve Elinski went 2-for-3 with two RBI, Mike Metzger went 2-for-2 and scored three runs and Carmen Caserta had an RBI double. Bonner's Chris Boyle went 2-for-3 with an RBI.
At La Salle University
Judge 6, La Salle 4
  Eric Ruhland allowed three first-inning runs, but finished with a nine-strikeout four-hitter as the Crusaders gave 25-year coach Joe McDermott his fifth championship. Mark Dickson (RBI double) and Matt McKenna (two-run single) created a 3-3 tie in the third, Bill Reilly got home a run in the third on a fielder's choice, Kirk Bucholski lashed an RBI double in the fourth and Dennis Klinger homered in the fifth. Losing pitcher Bryan Harvey had an RBI double.


Recap of victory in City Title . . .

At Temple's Erny Field
Judge 14, Central 13
    Ten of the game's 28 hits went for extra bases, Judge overcame a 7-0 deficit after 2 1/2 innings and Central created a 13-13 tie with seven in the visiting fifth. Jim Hockel tripled and scored in the bottom half to win it. George Turano won with 1 1/3 innings of scoreless relief. Mike Goida went 5-for-5 and scored twice. For Central, Matt Melone homered and Bob Santore went 3-for-5 with two triples and three RBI.


Below are the players who earned first pr second team Coaches' All-Catholic honors during Joe McDermott's
31 seasons . . . *-MVP.

Shawn O'Neill P 1976 Walt Kosiek 1B 1976
*Lou Nicastro SS 1977 John Orminski 2B 1976
Jim Hockel C 1977 Mike Goida 3B 1976
Dennis Foglia P 1977 Nick DeLaurentis OF 1977
Dave Gallo 3B 1978 Neil Madden 2B 1978
Jim Hockel C 1978 Chuck Bushbeck SS 1978
Marc Fleming OF 1978 Tom Ullmer OF 1978
Mario Buonanoce P 1978 Vince Pelligrini P 1978
Brian Oliver 1B 1979 Ed McArdle 1B 1979
Dave Gallo 3B 1979 Mike Stankiewicz SS 1979
Jack Yost OF 1979 Tom Fallon OF 1979
Joe Healy P 1979 Harry Murray OF 1981
Mike Stankiewicz SS 1980 Pat Waninger OF 1981
Cosmo Losco OF 1980 Tim Myers OF 1982
Mark Singer P 1980 John Higgins OF 1982
Kevin Conroy 2B 1981 Steve Nejman C 1983
Craig Canning P 1981 Paul Weeks 2B 1985
Dennis Minich SS 1982 Tom Robinson OF 1985
Harry Murray OF 1982 Mike Wieczorek P 1985
Pat Waninger P 1982 Brian Hill C 1986
Paul Mazurek P 1982 Joe Morgan P 1987
Mark Iacovelli SS 1983 Kevin Hines OF 1988
Mark Iacovelli SS 1984 Ed Tomaselli P 1988
Brian Golderer OF 1984 Jim Benner 1B 1989
Kerry Cahill 3B 1985 Brian Machinski 3B 1989
Mark Iacovelli SS 1985 Doug Briggs OF 1989
Andy Sotherling 2B 1986 George Beisel DH 1989
Kerry Cahill SS 1986 Tony Luca C 1990
Mike Wieczorek P 1986 Tony Luca C 1991
Chris Gies P 1987 Greg Viscusi IF 1992
Ron Filippo OF 1988 Pat O'Donnell P 1992
Joe Morgan P 1988 Bob File IF 1993
Jeff Jordan P 1989 Bob Hassel IF 1993
George Beisel IF 1990 Jason Berghaier C 1993
Brian Peacher OF 1990 Jack Smith OF 1993
Ken Vogt P 1990 Chuck Hiller P 1993
Joe Affet OF 1991 Joe Shenko P 1993
*Bob File IF 1994 Tom Kelly OF 1994
Sean McGettigan OF 1994 Pete Gabriele OF 1998
Tom Hellwarth P 1994 Dan Rash P 1998
Mike DeVincentis C 1995 Brian Kearney P 1999
Kevin McGerry P 1996 Kirk Bucholski P 2000
Kris Dufner IF 1997 Jim Hasher IF 2001
Tom Walsh OF 1997 Paul Koenig P 2001
Kevin McGerry P 1997 Dan Graf OF 2002
Anthony Nelson 1B 1998 Dale Curry C 2002
Kris Dufner IF 1998 Dale Curry C 2003
Mike Gies IF 1998 Joe Cione P 2003
Brian Kearney C 1998 *Matt Compton P 2005
Josh Riordan P 1998 Matt Compton INF 2006
Bob Greenfield 1B 1999 Justin DeCristofaro OF 2006
Dennis Klinger IF 1999      
Brian Kearney C 1999      
Kirk Bucholski OF 1999      
Bob Greenfield 1B 2000      
Dennis Klinger IF 2000      
Kirk Bucholski OF 2000      
Eric Ruhland OF 2000      
Eric Ruhland P 2000      
Harry Crane IF 2002      
Steve Sellers 1B 2003      
Don Winterbottom IF 2003      
Dan Higgins IF 2004      
Dale Curry C 2004      
Jason D'Ambrosio 1B 2005      
*Matt Compton INF 2005      
Jason D'Ambrosio 1B 2006      
Matt Compton P 2006