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Pirates official lived for family, baseball, cooking

Mary Pickels
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Phillip Trozzi loved baseball, especially the Pittsburgh Pirates.

“If the Pirates were on television, he wouldn’t let you watch anything else,” said his daughter, Cheryl Bolias of Monessen.

He loved playing softball as a young adult and later played for the Pittsburgh Gold, a team in the 65-plus North Allegheny Senior Softball League. In 2007, the team won a Gold Medal at the Huntsman World Senior Games.

“My only hope is that there is softball in heaven,” Bolias said.

Phillip Anthony Trozzi of Monessen died Wednesday, March 4, 2015, in his home, several years after a heart attack ended his softball career. He recently suffered kidney failure. He was 75.

Mr. Trozzi was proud to say that several of his grandchildren were WPIAL baseball champions, Bolias said.

Her father had a passion for food, she said. He and her husband, Nick Bolias, enjoyed preparing stuffed shells, gnocchi and soppressata, a cured meat.

A 1957 graduate of Monessen High School, Mr. Trozzi worked as a conductor on the Monessen Southwestern Railroad for several years.

He later moved to Pittsburgh, working for the Pittsburgh Pirates in corporate sales and public relations.

“He was in his glory. He went to every single game,” Bolias said.

When Mr. Trozzi met Pittsburgh Gold coach Larry Gaertner, he joined the team.

Mr. Trozzi played second base, traveling the country with the team for about 10 years.

“He really enjoyed life, playing ball and being with the guys. He was one of those kinds of guys that got along with everybody,” Gaertner said.

“He was a pretty good ball player, a good hitter and very reliable,” said Gaertner’s wife, Natalie.

Mr. Trozzi is survived by four daughters, Cheryl Ann Bolias and husband Nick, Vicki Maione and husband Art, Dina Henderson and husband Ernest, and Kristin Maione and husband Joe; two stepsons, David Bendinelli and wife Shelia, and Marco Bendinelli and Michelle D. Brokow; seven grandchildren; two great-grandchildren; six stepgrandchildren; and two stepgreat-grandchildren.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his stepfather, John Stonage, and by his wife, Mae Trozzi.

Friends will be received from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m. Sunday in Dalfonso-Billik Funeral Home Inc. and Cremation Services, 441 Reed Ave., Monessen, where services will be held at 10 a.m. Monday. Interment will be in Grandview Cemetery, Monessen.

Mary Pickels is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-836-5401 or [email protected].

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