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Feb 20, 2024

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Pierzynski, Celski
Nagurski & Krukow
Inducted Into NPASHF

World Series Champion catcher A.J. Pierzynski, three-time Olympic medalist speed skater J.R. Celski,  NFL Hall of Famer Bronko Nagurski, and all-star pitcher Mike Krukow were inducted into the National Polish-American Sports Hall of Fame for 2020 at the 48th Annual Induction Banquet held on Thursday, September 16, 2021, at the American Polish Cultural Center in Troy, Michigan.  In photo: 2021 NPASHF inductees J.R. Celski and A.J Pierzynski with the display case.

BACKGROUNDS

A.J. Pierzynski was a major league catcher for 19 seasons (1998-2016) with the Twins, Giants, White Sox, Rangers, Red Sox, Cardinals and Braves.  The two-time All-Star (2002, 2006) was an integral part of the White Sox World Series Championship in 2005, their first championship in 88 years.  Pierzynski holds the American League record for consecutive errorless chances with 962, and in 2012, he was awarded the Silver Slugger Award, given to the best offensive player at each position.  One of only ten catchers in Major League history to reach 2,000 hits, Pierzynski batted .280 for his career, with 2,043 hits, 188 home runs and 909 RBI. First hired by FOX Sports in 2011, he has been a full-time FOX baseball analyst since 2017.

In photo: A.J. Pierzynski speaking to the audience.

J.R. Celski was one of the top U.S. short track speed skaters of the last decade.  He is a three-time Olympian (Vancouver, Sochi and PyeongChang) and three-time medalist in the Winter Olympics.  In 2010, just five months after a skate blade completely severed one of his quad muscles, J.R. won two Olympic medals in Vancouver, winning bronze medals in the 1500m and the 5000m relay.  In 2014, he won a silver medal in the 5000m relay.  J.R. has won 11 World Championship medals (three gold medals), 26 World Cup medals, and set two world records including the 500 meters, in which he was the first person to break the 40 second barrier.

In Photo: David Jansen and Jon Paul Morosi – MC for the event from MLB.com look on as J.R. Celski speaks to the audience.

Bronko Nagurski was a standout football player at 6’ 2” and 226 pounds at the University of Minnesota from 1927-1929.  Nagurski played defensive tackle in 1927, and both fullback and tackle in 1928 and 1929.  In 1929 he was named All-America at both positions, the only person to this day ever to be named All-America at two positions in the same season.  After his legendary career at Minnesota, he signed with the Chicago Bears, playing nine seasons at running back and linebacker (1930-1937, and 1943).   Nagurski led the Bears to three NFL championships (1932, 1933 and 1943), and was named all-NFL five times.  In 1951, Nagurski was elected to the inaugural class of the College Football Hall of Fame, and in 1963, he was elected into the inaugural class of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. 

Mike Krukow was selected by the Chicago Cubs in the 8th round of the 1973 MLB Draft and went on to a 14 year major-league pitching career (1976-1989) with the Cubs, Phillies and Giants.  He finished his career with a 124-117 record, with 1,478 strikeouts, and an ERA of 3.90.  His best season occurred in 1986, when he posted a record of 20-9, with a 3.05 ERA.  He finished 3rd in the Cy Young voting that year, and was selected to the National League All-Star team.  In 1987, Krukow helped lead the Giants to their first division championship in 16 years.  After his playing career, Krukow turned to broadcasting and in 1994 became the full-time broadcaster for the Giants, earning thirteen Emmy Awards.

In photo: J.R Celski, David Jansen, A.J. Pierzynski

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

In photo below: Past NPASHF Chairman Paul Paruk with J.R. Celski

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

POSNANSKI NAMED NATIONAL POLISH-AMERICAN SPORTS HALL OF FAME
TONY KUBEK MEDIA AWARD RECIPIENT

The National Polish-American Sports Hall of Fame (NPASHF) is proud to announce that Joe Posnanski of The Athletic is the 2021 recipient of the organization’s Tony Kubek Media Award.

The Tony Kubek Media Award, presented to a Polish-American media member for outstanding contributions to any form of sports media, including but not limited to, print, broadcast, and internet media. Posnanski was recognized at the NPASHF’s Annual Induction Banquet  held on Thursday, September 16,2021, in Troy, Michigan.

Posnanski is a Senior Writer at The Athletic. Five different organizations have named him national sportswriter of the year and Posnanski has won two Emmys as part of NBC’s digital Olympics coverage. He is the author of five books, including ‘Paterno’, a #1 New York Times Best-Selling autobiography of former Penn State football coach Joe Paterno, and The Secret of Golf: The Story of Tom Watson and Jack Nicklaus.

In photo: Joe Posnanski- Tony Kubek Media award recipient

A former senior columnist for Sports Illustrated and columnist for The Kansas City Star, Posnanski currently writes for The Athletic and his personal blog, JoeBlogs.

Born in Cleveland, Posnanski, spent 15 years in Kansas City as he worked for the Kansas City Star (1996-09), where he was twice named the country’s best sports columnist by the Associated Press Sports Editors. He was also nominated for 21 awards by the APSE and won additional first-place national awards in feature and project writing. He and wife, Margo, and their two children live in Charlotte, N.C.

Tony Kubek is also a proud Polish-American. He was a former New York Yankees shortstop (1957-1965), a 4-time All-Star, 3-time World Series Champion and the 1957 American League Rookie of the Year. Following his on-field career, Kubek became perhaps the most famous network television baseball analyst, working alongside greats like Jim Simpson, Curt Gowdy, Joe Garagiola and Bob Costas on NBC Sports coverage of Major League Baseball. Kubek also worked games for Canada’s CTV and CSN, and Madison Square Garden Network. Kubek was awarded the Ford C. Frick award in 2009 for broadcast excellence by the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. He was enshrined into the National Polish American Sports Hall of Fame in 1982.

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