Back to News

NIASHF Announces Death of Pittsburgh Chapter Co-Founder and President, Joseph B. Natoli

Press Release:


Chicago, IL and Pittsburgh, PA (November 15, 2013) – The National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame (NIASHF) announces with deep condolences, the passing of the Co-Founder and President of the Pittsburgh Chapter of the NIASHF, Joseph B. Natoli, on Wednesday, November 13, 2013; age 85. A dedicated husband, father, brother, grandfather, uncle, and cousin, Natoli’s legacy in the Pittsburgh area will forever live on.

Natoli’s lifelong commitment to young people was spent during a forty-year career with the City of Pittsburgh’s Parks & Recreation Department. In 1953, he founded the Morningside Baseball Association and has been the organization’s President since its founding; it continues to thrive today. Natoli was also the Founder and Head Coach of the Morningside Bulldogs Football Association from 1950-1979. Deemed the “Winningest Football Team in the World,” Natoli led the Bulldogs to a remarkable 271-19 record during the 30-year span.

A proud Italian-American, Natoli was the Co-Founder and President of the Pittsburgh Chapter of the NIASHF for 20 years, and was a member of the first class of inductees into the Pittsburgh Chapter’s Hall of Fame. The Pittsburgh Chapter has provided more than 140 scholarships to high school seniors during this time.

“He will always be remembered as a man of great character and determination,” said Tony Ferraro, Treasurer and National Director of the Pittsburgh Chapter. In 1998, Natoli was inducted into the Western Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame; and in 2006, he was also inducted into the American Football Association’s Semi-Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, OH.

Visitation will be held at McCabe Bros., Inc. Funeral Home, 6214 Walnut Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15206, on Saturday, November 16, and Sunday, November 17, from 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m., and 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. A mass of Christian burial will be held at St. Raphael Church on Monday, November 18, at 11:00 a.m. Entombment to follow at Calvary Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation in Pittsburgh, PA.


The National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame is a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization dedicated to preserving honorable values through sport. Founded in 1977 by George Randazzo, the Hall of Fame has 238 inductees. The organization was founded on the values of Family, Friends, Faith, and Community and has been committed to providing support to students and youth of all backgrounds through its charitable programs, Second Wind and A Level Playing Field. The National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame is located in Chicago’s famed Little Italy neighborhood, at 1431 W. Taylor Street, Chicago, IL 60607. For more information on the National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame, please visit



Brandt Bernat –, (312) 226-5566