Ron Musto is retiring as Greater Pittston American Legion baseball general manager and manager, ending a relationship that dates back to 1981 when he began playing in the organization.
Greater Pittston’s program fielded four teams in the 2013 season. In addition to his administrative responsibilities, Musto served as field manager for two of the teams – the new West Side Senior Legion team and the Greater Pittston Junior Legion team.
“I have notified the league that I am stepping away,” Musto said. “I’m retiring or resigning, whatever you’d like to call it. All the responsibilities of field maintenance, uniforms, and scheduling and stuff like that, it’s time for me to turn it over to a new regime.”
Musto stepped away once before, thinking that might have been a “retirement.” He said he will not be returning this time.
“Back in 1998, I did ‘retire,’ however it turned out I resigned because I did return in 2002,” Musto said. “This time, I’m retired.”
Musto became manager in 1987.
“I was able to uphold and even increase the credibility and respect of the program,” Musto said. “We won 11 championships that I was part of as a player, manager and general manager and we won five regional championships.
“The reason why we were able to do that is because we had outstanding players and outstanding youngsters to work with.”
The Greater Pittston program is not formally affiliated with any American Legion post. The franchise’s charter is in Musto’s name, leaving him in position to pass it along to his replacement.
Among the possibilities to follow Musto and take charge of the program are Jerry Ranieli and Drew White.
Ranieli, a Pittston Area High School assistant coach, served as the manager of the Greater Pittston Senior Legion team last season when it won the Region 5 championship to reach the state tournament. White helped throughout the program, serving as a coach and consultant for both Senior teams and the Junior team.
While final decisions are being made, Ranieli is in charge of the program on at least an interim basis while preparations are being made for the 2014 season.
Greater Pittston American Legion also had a team on the Legion Prep level last season. Musto said the large number of interested participants makes it possible that Greater Pittston could field two teams on Senior and/or Junior levels in 2014.
The program draws players from the Pittston Area and Wyoming Area School Districts.