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Hot Hitter and WWII Vet Longenecker, 89, Dies

April 1, 2015

By Joseph Ruggiero

Softball News Report

Bruce Joseph Longenecker Sr., 89, of Annville, PA, died suddenly on Nov. 23 at home. A 22 year veteran of Senior Softball, he was a member of William Smith’s Tremont team out of Baltimore for 13 years, winning 23 National Championships.

A tremendous hitter and accomplished coach, Bruce was inducted into the National Senior Softball Hall of Fame in 2008 and the Central Pennsylvania Hall of Fame in 2009. He embodied true excellence in athletics.

“The best of the best. One of the finest senior athletes to come along,” said Bill Smith, a friend and fellow player. “Bruce could play anywhere. He was the best pitcher, the best catcher, the best third baseman. He was the most all-round player in senior softball.”

Prior to his success in Senior Softball, Bruce earned three varsity letters in high school. A veteran of World War II, Bruce also played on the European fast-pitch championship team while stationed in England.

In Annville, he also coached Little League baseball and was active in the community. Rep. Mauree Gingrich of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives wrote that Bruce was “committed to community involvement as well, as evidenced by his service to the local Little League and Cub Scout Troops.”

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