LECANTO — It was 1946, the first time the Crystal River Pirates had reached the state semifinals.
Their coach: the late James “Doc” Hudson. Their star pitcher: Gene Allen.
They lost to Avon Park 13-4, but the team, led by Allen, made Crystal River history.
During one of their games, Allen caught the attention of Brooklyn Dodgers Hall of Famer and Homosassa winter resident Dazzy Vance.