Hank Caputo was many things throughout baseball, a local legend, you can bet on it.
He was founder of the The Mohawks, owner and president of the Mohawks from 1978 to 1992 until selling the team to Bob Bellizzi, who relocated the team to Amsterdam in 2003, native of Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, WWII Navy veteran, from 1988-1992 was the Commissioner of the Northeast Collegiate Baseball League (forerunner of the NYCBL), he served as president of the Schenectady Baseball Club (the Mohawks), president of Schenectady Connie Mack Baseball, member of the Schenectady Baseball Hall of Fame, honoured by the City of Schenectady for his contributions to amateur baseball, recipient of the Steve Lembo award from the NY Hot Stove League, scouted for the Baltimore Orioles, Chicago White Sox, and Montreal Expos, and a Gold pass recipient from the National Association of Professional Baseball (the Minor Leagues).
If that didn’t fill your lungs, there’s more.
Caputo played locally on some of the old Sault Tech juvenile leagues coached by another local legend, Benny Littner. But soon left to play semi-pro in New York State, where he eventually started the Mohawks.
He worked as a custodian and teacher in the school system there. And soon became involved in the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York.
Lesser known for hockey, unless you are from the Sault, he served as a recruiter for Rennessler Polytechnical Institute (RPI) which was one of the original U.S. teams in college hockey.
He recruited such Sault players Jimmy Pollock, Mike Prpich, Lou Caputo, Abby Greco, Brian Lafluer, Doug Elliot, Jim Johnson and Barry Martinelli.
He was said to speak very highly of Anna McCrea, who took west-end boys under her wing, so-to-speak, and even bought them skates and ball gloves out of her own pocket.
Hank is sadly, missed.
This column will appear regularly as a tribute to Sault Legends, of present and past. Please stay tuned.