SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) – Joe Antonio’s legacy as the manager of the OCC baseball team speaks for itself. During his coaching career Antonio won eight Region III baseball titles and 421 games.

On Saturday, OCC paid tribute to Antonio, by naming the third base dugout at Lazers Stadium in his honor.

Antonio is a native of Syracuse’s North Side who graduated from Central Tech High School and earned his college degree at OCC in 1969 when the campus was located downtown in Midtown Plaza. In 1977 he pitched OCC on the idea of starting a club baseball team. He would manage the team and equip players with uniforms and gear from the Syracuse Junior Chiefs whom he also managed. OCC’s team used West Genesee High School’s field for its home games and practiced wherever it could find an available field. After one season, baseball became an official team sport at OCC.

Antonio coached OCC Baseball for 23 seasons, compiling a won-loss record of 421-251. His teams made 19 post season appearances, earned 8 Region III championships, one Northeast District Championship, and made one Junior College World Series appearance. He coached 10 All-Americans, 16 players who would play professionally, and 2 who made it to the major leagues. Also, 120 of his players earned scholarships to continue playing at four-year colleges.

Onondaga Community College opened its on-campus baseball stadium in 2014. The dugout naming in Antonio’s honor was approved by OCC’s Board of Trustees in October 2019, but the Lazers did not play in 2020 or 2021 due to Covid.