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Dr. Nicholas F. Brignola, 83, former Kids & Kubs player

Published Oct. 17, 2005

Dr. Nicholas F. Brignola, a former player and team physician for the Kids & Kubs of the Three-Quarter Century Softball Club, died Sunday (July 29, 1990) at Hoosick Falls (N.Y.) Health Center. He was 83. His son, Nicholas, said Monday he died of complications associated with Alzheimer's disease.

Since 1946, Dr. Brignola had been a seasonal Pinellas County resident, living first at Belleair Beach at a house he built on a former military gunnery range, and later at the Mainlands retirement community off U.S. 19 in Pinellas Park. He was one of the Mainlands' earliest residents, his son said.

"He lived on the East Coast (of Florida) and then decided that the West Coast was where he wanted to be," his son said.

A lifelong athlete and former playground director in his hometown of Troy, N.Y., he became a part of the Kids & Kubs, the softball club's teams for men over 74, in 1980. During the following four years he played second base. He also served as team physician, although fulfilling those medical duties took little time, according to Andy McKnight, who was then club president.

"He didn't have to do anything," McKnight said with a chuckle. "These guys were in pretty good shape." Mainly, he treated minor scrapes and "gave a lot of (medical) advice to the guys. He was very free with it."

Away from the ball field, he freely gave of his musical talents, playing guitar and singing in nursing homes in Pinellas and Manatee counties, according to his son. Illness forced him to remain in Troy for the past several years, but he retained a home at the Mainlands, his son said.

He was born in Troy, the son of Italian immigrants Elizabeth and Frank Brignola. His father was a tailor and musician. Dr. Brignola attended Union College, Schenectady, N.Y., and received his medical degree from Albany (N.Y.) Medical School.

Dr. Brignola, who opened his general practice in his hometown in 1933, was one of Troy's prominent residents. In 1975, the year he retired, he was the first recipient of the Columbus Award from Troy's Italian Community Center. Two years later he was elected to the city's Boys Club Hall of Fame.

He received congressional honorary certificates and medals from six presidents, from Franklin D. Roosevelt through Richard M. Nixon, for duty with the Rensselaer County Selective Service Board, beginning in World War II.

Survivors include his wife, Margaret Rubino Brignola; a son, Nicholas T., Troy; four brothers, Christopher and James, Troy, Dominick, Watervliet, N.Y., and John, Naples, Italy; two sisters, Dr. Carolyn V. Brignola and Josephine Errera, Troy; and three grandchildren.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be said on Wednesday at St. Anthony's Shrine Church in Troy. Burial will be at St. Mary's Cemetery. John H. Clinton Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

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