On July 29,2020, Joseph Michael Haberl of New Hartford and Weston FL passed away. He was 87 years old. Bom in New Britain, Connecticut, on August 21, 1932, Joe spent his early years at the Klingberg Children’s Home. He spent seven years there. It also marked the time and place that he gained his love of sports. For the rest of his life, sports played a major role in developing his character.Joe attended Newington High School and graduated in 1951. He played both baseball and basketball where he was named an All-State Basketball Player in 1951.
Upon graduation, he received a scholarship to play basketball at the University of Connecticut. He played both baseball and basketball at UCONN. After his Sophomore year, Joe signed a contract to play professional baseball. However, on opening day of the 1954 season, he was drafted into the Army where he served sixteen and a half months in Korea.
Upon completion of his military obligation, Joe went back to pursuing a career in professional baseball. He pitched for both the Braves and the Giants minor league systems with some success. The years he spent playing pro-baseball were some of the happiest years of his life. He met so many great people and went to so many cities around the country. He was also blessed to have made many friends, some of which made it to the majors. Realizing he was not going to reach the major league level, Jose decided to resume his education. He next enrolled at Central Connecticut State University at the time CCSU was an NAIA school which allowed Joe to regain his amateur status. He played both basketball and baseball there. In basketball, the team went to the National NAIA Tournament three consecutive years. He went two years as a player and one year as an Assistant Coach. One year, they played Grambling which featured Hall of Fame player Willis Reed of New York Knick fame. (We lost.) In baseball, while the team had winning seasons, Joe established himself as an outstanding player. He even pitched a two-game complete game double-header on the same day. He won both games. After graduation in 1961, Joe started what he called was his purpose in life. He became a teacher and coach. He coached at the following schools: South Catholic High School, Canton High School, Windsor High School and finally Torrington High School. After 30 years, Joe retired from both teaching and coaching. He often looked back at all the years and young men who touched his life. He always said “if I ever have a chance to say it to all those players, I would say ‘thank you’ for all you did to make my life worthwhile. He is survived by friends Russell and Lisa Neher and Mike Weaver and Germania friends including Rick Meyer and Bill Conti, and Steve Shugrue. Due to CoVid 19 restricitons there will be no services. online memorials www.phalenfuneral.com
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