COOPERSTOWN – Victor Salvatore, Jr., of Sarasota, Fla., a Marine during World War II, and a newspaperman and executive who helped establish Abner Doubleday’s founding of baseball locally as myth, died peacefully at home on Oct. 6, 2020.
He was born Dec. 6, 1921, to Victor Salvatore and Ellen Ashfordbye Ryerson Salvatore.
His father was a sculptor who was born in Italy and came to New York as a child. His works are represented in The Metropolitan Museum of Art; “The Sandlot Kid” and “James Fenimore Cooper” are Cooperstown landmarks.
Victor’s maternal grandfather, Arthur Larned Ryerson, an American businessman, perished on the Titanic in 1912. His grandmother, Emily Borie Ryerson, was a Titanic survivor.
Victor attended The Forman School, Deerfield Academy the University of Virginia, and Princeton.
He was a veteran of the Marine Corps in WW2, serving on Iwo Jima and in China.
His career in journalism as a newspaper reporter spanned the
Washington Post, the Hartford Courant, Wesleyan University, and the Westchester Patent Trader.
He was a frequent contributor to The Freeman’s Journal, and authored an American Heritage article, which marshaled the argument, now universally accepted, that the story of Abner Doubleday founding baseball in Cooperstown was a myth.
A voracious reader, he amassed a large collection of books and an encyclopedic range of knowledge.
Although he lived in many places (New York City, Washington D.C., Golden’s Bridge in Westchester County, Middletown, Conn., and most recently Sarasota.) he returned to Swanswick, the family’s historic home on Otsego Lake, virtually every summer all his life.
Located adjacent to the Otsego Golf Club (with which his family was associated since its founding in 1894; he served on its board for many years), this was a perfect place for such an avid golfer.
He was very generous and enabled his daughters to ski, horseback ride, golf and play tennis. In his later years was one fine backgammon player.
He was predeceased by his two sisters, Vittoria Salvatore Demarest and Elena Salvatore Raymond. He is survived by his beloved wife Martha McGowan, his daughters Ellen Salvatore Cunningham, Andrea Salvatore Hook, and Joy Salvatore, as well as numerous grandchildren and greatgrandchildren.
A memorial service will be held in Cooperstown when circumstances allow.