Siena Baseball Coach Tony Rossi to Wrestler “Pinky” Gardner

Tony Rossi – Rossi has been the Siena College baseball coach for more than 40 years, and he has coached more than 30 players who went on to sign professional contracts.  Rossi was no slouch as a ball player himself.  He played his college ball at Brockport State and graduated in 1965.  He was a SUNY all-star for three years, and in 1964, his .477 batting average was the highest in the east.

Saratoga Lake Fishermen – Fifty-five years ago, I remember going to Saratoga Lake with my buddies and fishing for northern pike and frisky largemouth bass in Manning’s Cove, Chinatown, and Fish Creek.  Back then, large shiners, red and white daredevils, jitterbugs, and Hula Poppers were among our favorite live and artificail baits.  Not today!  Today’s fishermen are throwing spinner baits, Senkos, the jig ‘n’ pig, and rubber worms  among other artificial baits.  Large shiners, however, are still the choice of many fishermen who are trying to hook into a lunker northern pike.

Kathy Kaczkowski – The Draper High School of Rotterdam grad played in 40 consecutive basketball games for Siena College, and shot a very impressive 54.4 percent from the field her first three seasons.  Kaczkowski  had  single-game career highs of 30 points and 13 rebounds.

Jim Commarto – The Schenectady native was one of the top race-walkers in the United States in the 60-plus age bracket.  Among his top performances was a seventh-place finish in the 54-64 age group at the U.S. Senior Olympics.

Gary Holle Sr. – A two-sport standout from the Capital Region, Holle won the Division II-III national batting title when he hit.577 for Siena College.  It was the third-best in modern college baseball.  The 6’6″ southpaw played for the Texas Rangers one year and played in only five games. He had just one hit in six at-bats.

Ralph Sausville – The former Albany High basketball coach was the father of Former Schenectady High  coach, Mark Sausville.  Ralph Sausville, who lived on Snowden Avenue near Central Park and across the street from rival coach Walt Przybylo, was the Falcons coach in the 1960s.  Two of his best players were Davis Willingham and Fred Leigh.  Both “kids” looked like they were going on 21. 

Rich Campoli – The St. Joseph’s of Albany deadeye was a machine gun at the offensive end of the floor.  Campoli set a Section II single-game scoring record in 1964, when he poured in 67 points.

Paul Vellano – When Bishop Gibbons  and University of Maryland football tackle Paul Vellano  was named to the Kodak All-America first team and UPI second team in 1973, he became the third Schenectady athlete to gain All-America recognition since basketball players Barry Kramer and Pat Riley .  Kramer and Riley were both Linton products.

Frank Taberski – Taberski of Amsterdam was one of the Capital Region’s premier pocket billiards players,and he held the World Pocket Billiards title for seven years.  Taberski first became the world champion in 1916 and held it until 1918.  Along the way, he had beaten the great Ralph Greenleaf a couple of times.  Taberski could sometimes run well over 125 balls.  For awhile, he performed at Vaudeville shows, but returned to real competition in the 1920s.  After playing competitively, Taberski opened a pool hall on Broadway in Schenectady.  It burned down sometime in the 1960s. He was inducted into the National Billiards Hall of Fame.

Carroll “Pinky” Gardner – A wrestler from Schenectady, Gardner earned a buck-and-a-half for his first pro match in the early 1900s.  Gardner won the middleweight championship in 1922 and the light-heavyweight title in 1932.  He later served as the Schenectady County Sherriff and then Clerk.

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