National Polish-American Sports Hall of Fame to Induct Greats of the Past

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Former Green Bay Packers President-Dominic Olejniczak, track and field champion-Frances Sobczak Kaszubski, Notre Dame football All-American-Emil Sitko, World Champion billiards pro-Frank Taberski and All-American Girls Professional Baseball League star-Connie Wisniewski have been elected as Greats of the Past into the National Polish-American Sports Hall of Fame.

NPASHF

Former Green Bay Packers President Dominic Olejniczak, track and field champion Frances Sobczak Kaszubski, Notre Dame football All-American Emil Sitko, World Champion billiards pro Frank Taberski and All-American Girls Professional Baseball League star Connie Wisniewski have been elected as Greats of the Past into the National Polish-American Sports Hall of Fame (NPASHF). Unable to hold the normal induction ceremony, the NPASHF will use this year to induct well-deserving individuals in the Greats of the Past category. Greats of the Past are individuals whose accomplishments in sports were in an earlier era and merit recognition within the NPASHF’s mission to recognize and preserve outstanding achievement by individuals of Polish heritage in the field of sports.

Dominic Olejniczak (1908-1989) Olejniczak served as a member of the board of directors of the Green Bay Packers from 1950-1989, including 24 years as president (1958-1982), the longest tenure of any Packers president. A soft-spoken consensus-builder, he headed the search committee that hired Vince Lombardi in 1959, and continued to oversee the organization as the Packers won five NFL championships and two Super Bowls in the 1960’s. Olejniczak was inducted into the Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame in 1979.

Frances Sobczak Kaszubski (1916-2010) Kaszubski was a four-time National AAU Champion in shot put (1943, 1945, 1948 and 1950), and two-time Indoor Champion in 1948 and 1951. She was the National Champion in the discus throw seven-times (1943, 1945, 1947-1951.) In 1951, Kaszubski won the bronze medal in discuss at the Pan-Am Games. After competing, she was named the manager of the USA’s track team at the Pan-Am Games in 1959 where USA women won gold medals in all but two events. In 1960, she managed the USA’s track team for the Olympics held in Rome.

Emil Sitko (1923-1973) Sitko enrolled at Notre Dame as a 23-year-old freshman in 1946 after coming out of service in World War II. He was a starter on the football team three years at halfback and one year at fullback. In those four years the Notre Dame record was 36-0-2. He led his team in rushing all four years and his career average was 6.1 yards per carry. In 1949, he also led the team in kickoff returns, averaging 22 yards. He was a consensus All-American in 1948 and a unanimous All-American in 1949. Sitko was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1984.

Frank Taberski (1889-1941) Taberski began shooting pool at age 13, and by age 16 was already the Central New York champion. He turned pro in 1915 at the age of 26, and in 1916, he became world champion by defeating Johnny Layton. Nicknamed “The Gray Fox,” he retained his world title 10 challenge matches in a row. Taberski retired in 1918, but returned to billiards in 1925 and regained the world title. He is ranked by Billiards Digest as number 7 of the 50 Greatest Players of the Century. In 1975, Taberski was inducted into the Billiard Congress of America Hall of Fame.

Connie Wisniewski (1922-1995) Wisniewski was a starting pitcher and outfielder in the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League (1944-1952). Considered by many historians as the best underhand pitcher, she posted a 107-48 career record to become one of only seven pitchers to collect 100 or more victories in AAGPBL history. Wisniewski also holds the league's all-time record for best winning percentage (.690) and the best single-season record for innings pitched (391). Among her career highlights, she was named Player of the Year in 1945, was a four-time All-Star, and played on two championship teams with eight playoff appearances.

Information on the National Polish-American Sports Hall of Fame is available at http://www.polishsportshof.com.

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