Stan Kokoska Honored
By Little League International
On July 16, 2015 “The Father of Little League Baseball in Poland” Stan Kokoska (of Willimantic, CT) was honored with a plaque in Kutno, Poland. Kutno is the headquarters for Little League Baseball for Europe, Africa and Asia. The plaque, in English and Polish, recognizes the dedication of Stan since his quest to find his Polish roots in 1987. While in Poland he saw boys without a summer activity. Stan went to Warsaw, the capital of Poland, to meet with Polish officials regarding Little League Baseball and then contacted Williamsport, PA, which is Little League Headquarters. As a result of his efforts Poland became the first Communist Country in Eastern Europe to start L.L. Baseball.
Stan took early retirement from the Connecticut State Department of Education and dedicated his life to bringing baseball to the children on Poland. In 1989 Stan and a group of Connecticut baseball enthusiasts founded the Polish National Youth Baseball Foundation, a 501-c-3 not for profit organization. This organization sends baseball and softball equipment, free of charge, to the children of Poland and Eastern Europe. Stan spent his summers in Poland teaching baseball to coaches and children.
Stan served in Korea as an Infantry Lieutenant and was awarded a Bronze Star after a daylight raid on his outfit, where he served valiantly. He was also honored by the Polish Government for what he has done for the children of Poland with the “Knights Cross of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland”.
Besides activities with baseball Stan was past President of the Polish American Congress of CT, active in the Pulaski Citizens Club of Willimantic and the Kiwanis Club. We was named L.L. Eastern Regional Volunteer in 1989 and was the 1st Polish American to be elected Mayor of the city of Willimantic, CT.
If you want to honor Stan for his contributions to Baseball and softball you can “Give a Kid a Glove” by making a contribution to the Polish National Youth Baseball Foundation. Checks can be made out to PNYBF and mailed to 222 Ocean Drive East, Stamford, CT 06902. All donations are Tax Deductible and will be acknowledged by the PNYBF. If you would like to help collect equipment call Al Koproski at 203-323-9944.
By Al Koproski
Photo: Bench in Kutno, Poland honoring Stan Kokoska, PNYBF President, and Coach Zdzislaw Ziolkowski of the Dzialdowo Yankees