Niskayuna’s Jeff Blatnick to Pinky Gardner

Jeff Blatnick -Before Olympic gold medal winner Jeff Blatnick took on 275-pound Thomas Johansson of Sweden in the final match at the 1984 Olympic games, Blatnick’s dad told Jeff, “The Swede is big, but you’ve come too far to let anyone stop you now.”

Al DeSantis – A sportswriter for the Schenectady Union Star,  Desantis was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize for a story he wrote about Jackie Robinson in 1972.

Paul Vellano –   He was a big, burly tackle who played for Bishop Gibbons in the late 1960s and then Maryland.  Vellano was the 13th-round draft pick of the Chicago Bears, but he signed with the Florida Blazers of the World Football League.  A broken arm ended his pro career.

Sidney Edwards – The former Linton basketball star who averaged 27 points and 17 rebounds for the Blue Devils, went on to Houston and was named to the Pizza Hut All-Star Team and then joined the Harlem Globetrotters.

Boog Powell & Kenny Hubbs – Major leaguers Boog Powell and Kenny Hubbs both played against the Schenectady Liitle League team that finished second in the 1953 World Series and took home all the marbles in 1954. They both faced Schenectady in 1954.

Jim Tedisco – Tedisco scored 55 points for Bishop Gibbons against Cardinal McClancy in the late ’60s.  For this effort,   his face appeared in Sports Illustrated’s Faces in the Crowd.

Gary Przybylo – He was named the Schenectady Gazette, Union Star, and Albany Times Union High School Player of the Year in 1968.  He also was on the New York state All-Star First Team, and Coach & Athlete Magazine’s All-America Team.

Billy Connors – When he played in the College Baseball World Series for Syracuse in 1961, Connors had five hits and belted homeruns in consecutive at-bats in one game.  Syracuse finished third in that Series.

Robert Murray – The former Schenectady Superintendent of Schools was named to Sports Illustrated’s 25-man Silver Anniversary All-America Football Team. This honor recognized those who were outstanding football players and successful professionals.

Joe Kazmar – Kazmar was the shortstop on Schenectady Little League’s 1954 World Championship Team.  After a fine high school career at Mont Pleasant, he went on to McNeese State, then signed a contract with the Chicago Cubs and played with the Middlesboro, Kentucky Class A Team.

Riley & Barbieri – They were named the Schenectady County Co-Athletes of the Year by the Mont Pleasant Athletic Club in 1966.  Riley for a sensational season at Kentucky, and Barbieri for batting .280 for the Los Angeles Dodgers and playing in the World Series.

Pinky Gardner – He was once the World Wrestling Champion in two weight classes.  Gardner also was the Schenectady County Sheriff and later the County Clerk.

Facebook Comments