James “Jim” Moncavage
- Post by: mcalibrary
- January 11, 2024
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Mount Carmel Area has played close to 1100 baseball games since 1909, and in that time, there have only been 14 no-hitters thrown by Tornado hurlers. Jim Moncavage is responsible for 2 of those, as well as, 5 one-hitters. To say that he has been one of the best pitchers to ever graduate from MCA would be totally accurate. Moncavage would play for Coach Tufky Andrulevich from 1960-1962 and would throw his first no-no against Kulpmont. In that game, Jim would also strike out 17 batters while walking only one. He would duplicate that performance with his second no-hitter against first place Frackville by a 7-0 score. When not on the mound, Moncavage was either at short stop or behind the plate for teammate Tom Hodrick. Together, they formed one of the best pitching combinations in the area at that time. Jim had numerous multi hit games for the Tornadoes, including 3 hit games versus Frackville, Shenandoah, Ashland, St. Clair and a grand slam against Mahanoy Area. He was named a co-captain in 62 after leading the Tornadoes with a .400 batting average and leading the league in home runs.
Jim would also pitch for the Shenandoah and Shamokin American Legion teams as was selected to play on the All Star team for both squads in 1961 and 1962. He was then drafted by the New York Mets in June of 1962.
After returning home, Jim would continue to play as an outfielder in the Intercity East Pitch Softball League for Shuda Cafe and Faust Cafe. He won numerous batting titles and was fortunate enough to play on a number of teams qualifying for the state championships. One shining moment was when he had 2 grand slams in one inning while playing with Faust Cafe. He was the 1973 MVP for Shuda Cafe, the 1977 MVP for Faust Cafe, and the Intercity League Home Run King in 1978.
Jim was also an outstanding football player for legendary coach Mike Terry at MCA. He was an outstanding punter and hard-nosed halfback, who happened to be on the field at Shamokin when coach Terry died.
Moncavage is a veteran of the US Army where he served in 1967-1968. He was an engeineer assigned to Special Forces during the Vietnam TET Offensive when he was wounded in action and received the coveted Purple Heart.
Jim was employed with PPL for 30 years and is now retired and living in Elysburg. He has been married for 34 years to the former Janet Shinskie, and has two children: Michael of Conshohocken and Jamie Lyn of Pittsburgh.