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Sunday, June 30, 2013

 

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Scott Glaus remembers:

"My Carlton Burger story involves him as my baseball coach when I was a sophomore. He was hitting “shag balls” to the outfielders who would throw them back to someone standing next to Coach Burger. Two balls were in play and he would hit the next one as the other was thrown in. I don’t know who it was, a left hander and a senior as I recall returned his fly ball as Coach was winding up to hit the next one. The throw was wild and hit Coach Burger squarely in his eye that immediately swelled to the size of a softball. Carlton lost control and raced after the terrified kid but couldn’t catch him. I was taking infield practice when I heard the screams and watched as Coach Burger attempted to run the poor kid down. All was resolved the next morning as I overheard the kid apologize as did Burger. You may recall Burger wearing sunglasses in school for a week or so."

Gary Laubach weighs in:

"I was there the day you talked about when Carlton got hit in the eye.  It was Wayne Unger who threw the ball and Carlton was convinced he did it on purpose.  You're right - if he would have caught him that afternoon, I think we would be talking about the "late" Wayne Unger."

Scott rethinks the event:

"The more I thought about it the less sure I was as to my year in school. Indeed, I could have been a freshman and in that case I would have been practicing track as I didn’t join the baseball team until my sophomore year. I could have been watching the incident from the track and not from the infield. Nonetheless, Wayne Unger sounds correct – mystery solved."

Carlton Berger

Carlton L. Berger
Carlton L. Berger, 84, of Whitehall, died Wednesday, October 21, 2009 in Lehigh Valley Hospital, Salisbury Township. He was the husband of the late Grace J. (Bortz) Berger. Born in Allentown on August 9, 1925, Carlton was the son of the late Wallace and Irene (Geiger) Berger. He faithfully and honorably served his country in the Army Air Corps during World War II. Carlton graduated from Lafayette College and received his masters degree in education from Temple University. He began his career in education as a teacher and athletic director for the Wilson Borough School District for 25 years before becoming the principal of Wilson High School, from 1977-1985. He was a former officer of the Lehigh-Northampton and Colonial League, a former member of the District XI League, a former school board member of the Whitehall-Coplay School District and was an avid golfer and fisherman. Survivors: Sons, Jeffrey C. Berger and his wife, Monica, of Schnecksville, Gregory C. Berger and his wife, Susan, of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina; sister, Dorothy Moyer of Myerstown; grandchildren, Meredith, Kevin, Matthew and Emily. Services: A private service will be held in the Heintzelman Funeral Home Inc., Schnecksville. No calling hours. Contributions: In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the American Heart Association , c/o the funeral home, P.O. Box 196, Schnecksville, PA 18078-0196.

Published in Morning Call on October 22, 2009

See more about Carlton Berger here.

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(from Terry Lee, March 5, 2009)

Many of you will remember Carlton Berger, who taught history and coached the baseball team. He retired as Principal of Wilson about 20 years ago. Mr. Berger was a fully engaged teacher who raised his voice only in passion for his subject.

Over the past year or so, I've run into Carlton, who is 84 years old, at Lafayette College a couple of times and thought you might enjoy some of his stories.

Early in 1943, at age 17, while a senior at Allentown High School, he left school to join the army under a special program where diplomas were awarded early. After basic and advanced training, he entered pilot training in the Army Air Corps while taking college courses at Oklahoma A&M. In his words, "I was in college, but hadn't finished high school."

His early training included flying a Fairchild PT-19, an open cockpit trainer which had a 175 hp engine, smaller than most cars today. In his first flight, he got air-sick and threw up, quite an event in an open cockpit. He was responsible for cleaning up the mess.

His training continued at various locations, but before completion the war ended so he never entered combat. He left the service in November 1945 and subsequently entered Lafayette College, along with many other ex-GIs, where he played football and baseball, graduating in 1950.

During a Lafayette-Yale baseball game, Carlton hit a grounder and raced for first base. He noticed the first baseman hogging the bag and debated whether to run him over. He relented at the last second.

The Yale first baseman was George Bush, our 41st president!

Again, in Carlton's words, "I should have run him over!"

I assume Mr. Berger is a Democrat.

 


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