SAMUEL CROGE JR. was born around 1937 in Camden, New Jersey to Samuel Croge and his wife, the former Maybelle M. Miller. He grew up in East Camden, where his family had lived since the 1910s. His grand-
father Giuseppe Croge had come to America in 1910 and had brought his wife Francesca and oldest son Primo over in 1913. By January of 1920 the family owned a home at 2311 Carman Street, near the railroad yards where Joseph Croge worked as a watchman. The 1920 Census shows four children had been added to the family, Dominick, Frank, Samuel, and Minnie, and more were born in the 1920s.

Samuel and Maybelle Croge had moved to 2119 Berwick Street by the end of 1939. The family had stayed in neighborhood, the 1947 City Directory shows grandmother Frances Croge still residing at 2311 Carman Street, Uncle Frank Croge was at 2314 Carman, Uncle Primo Croge was at 155 North 25th Street; only Uncle Dominick had left East Camden, having moved to 1131 North 20th Street in Cramer Hill

The Croge family attended St. Joseph's Pro Cathedral Roman Catholic Church on Federal Street. Samuel Croge Jr. was confirmed their in May of 1947 along with his neighbor and friend, Joseph Acqauro.

A fine athlete, he attended Woodrow Wilson High School. He was a star basketball player and as outstanding pitcher, and after graduating from high school he signed a minor league contract with the Philadelphia Phillies. Sam Croge played minor league ball for a number of years, then returned to South Jersey where he played semi-pro baseball and softball into the 1980s.

Sam Croge was elected to the South Jersey Scholastic Basketball Hall of Fame in 1989, and the the South Jersey Baseball Hall of Fame in 1997. 

Sam Croge passed away on January 3, 2012. A fundraiser was held in his honor at the Runnemede, New Jersey VFW post on January 22, 2012.

Sam "Buddy" Croge
Joe Acquaro

May 19, 1947

In front of Joe Acquaro's home
2114 Berwick Street
Camden, New Jersey

The boys had just received the confirmation ribbons at St. Joseph's Pro-Cathedral

Hot Stovers of South Jersey


One of South Jersey's finest pitchers, played in the fifties with Woodrow Wilson High School and The Philadelphia Phillies, has passed away. 

Sam Croge - Woodrow Wilson High School- Pitcher - 1953 to 1955.
Inducted to the South Jersey Baseball Hall of Fame in 1997. 

During the mid-50's, coach Binny Pawlak's Woodrow Wilson High's baseball teams were among the area's very best, and his ace right hander, Sam Croge, one of the elite hurlers in the state of New Jersey. With Croge handling the key game pitching assignments, Woodrow Wilson dominated area and regional competition to the tune of 3 straight City Series titles, plus 2 South Jersey Group III championships, a Sectional State Championship and at one point won 25 games in a row. 

A varsity starter all 3 years of his scholastic career, Sam was recognized for his outstanding pitching efforts with All State Team honors in both his junior and senior seasons. In 1955 he was South Jersey's top hurler with an 11-2 record, while averaging 11 strikeouts per game. He finished his brilliant career at Wilson with a 20-3 record. After graduation, Sam was offered a number of baseball and basketball scholarships, but decided to pursue a professional baseball career instead, and signed a pro contract with the Philadelphia Phillies. In the minor leagues he saw action in both the Georgia-Florida League and the Florida State League. He pitched as both a starter and a reliever, and finished his minor league career with a 24-12 record, plus 2 league championship wins. 

Upon returning to South Jersey, Croge played for a number of semi-pro squads in the area, and earned numerous All Star Team selections, including Burlington County, Camden Suburban, Camden City League and Penn-Del League honors. In addition to his baseball talents, Sam was named to the South Jersey Scholastic Basketball Hall of Fame in 1989. He closed out his career playing softball, leading the Ivy Viking team to many national and regional tournaments throughout the 1970's and 80's. 

Sam passed away on January 3rd, 2012 at age 75. 

Thanks to Joe Acquaro for his help in creating this page