Detroit Baseball Club Hosts
48th Annual Polish-American Night
By Raymond Rolak
DETROIT– Ethnic promotions are very popular and Polish-American Night is no exception. The evening has been a highlighted tradition of the Major League Baseball season which is now in its 48th year. The game and festivities did not disappoint the home crowd. The Detroit Tigers eked out a 5-4 victory over the Chicago White Sox at Comerica Park. The pregame festivities were coordinated by the Polish Roman Catholic Union of America (PRCUA). The special ticket package included a red and white Detroit Tigers / Polish American Night hat.
In photo: Robert Bielinda, Joe Drobot Jr., Rev. Miroslaw Krol and Chris Ozog prepare to go on the field at Comerica Park during Polish-American Heritage Night. (Photo courtesy of Jeff Weiser – Rolco Sports & Entertainment Network)
The Polish Roman Catholic Union of America (PRCUA) is the oldest Polish American insurance fraternal in America. It was founded in 1873 in the spirit of brotherhood to unite and help Polish immigrants and to promote Polish culture. Highlights before the game included the participation of 350 dancers on the field, 12 folk dance groups, the Polish Scouts and pre-game polka band entertainment. Included in the program besides the affiliated PRCUA dance troupes, were folk dance teams sponsored by the Polish National Alliance.
This year’s co-chairmen were Wally Ozog and Chris Ozog. Returning for an encore performance to sing the Republic of Poland National Anthem was Robert Szczublewski of Toledo. David Pozondek, longtime PRCUA member involved in coordinating several national sports tournament, threw out the ceremonial first pitch. Also introduced as part of the pregame ceremony was Rev. Miroslaw Krol the new Chancellor of the Orchard Lake Schools and St. Mary’s Preparatory along with Ken Chmelko of the Polish-Americn Federal Credit Union,
National Polish-American Sports Hall of Fame announced their 2018 honored inductees. They include Former All-Pro football guard Conrad Dobler, gold medal winning swimmer Rachel Komisarz-Baugh, retired NBA basketball player and current University of Utah coach Larry Krystkowiak and national golf long drive champion Evan “Big Cat” Williams.
Joseph Drobot Jr. has been selected to receive 2018 NPASHF Special Recognition Award for dedication and service to sports. The 46th annual induction banquet will be Thursday June 21, 2018 at the NPASHA Hall of Fame Museum at the American-Polish Cultural Center in Troy, Michigan. The NPASHF had an information booth at Comerica Park during Polish Heritage Night and passed out beverage cozy’s and keepsake informational programs. The game activities were concluded by post-game fireworks.
Honored Baseball Inductees into the
National Polish-American Sports Hall of Fame:
Art “Pinky” Deras Native Detroiter
Mark Fidrych *
Steve Gromek * Native Detroiter
Casimir (Jim) Konstanty
Bob Kuzava Native Detroiter
Stan Lopata Native Detroiter
Barney McCosky *
Stan Musial *** – Charter Inductee in 1973
Joe Niekro *
Tom Paciorek Native Detroiter
Ron Perranoski *
Johnny Podres *
Ron Reed **
Frank Tanana * Native Detroiter
Alan Trammell *
Played for the Detroit Tiger’s – *
Also played for the Detroit Pistons – **
First honored member to be inducted into the NPASHF – ***