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Hokey honors 1962 team during opening day ceremonies

The Hokendauqua Park & Playground Association recently held its opening day ceremony for the spring 2022 baseball and softball seasons.

The teams representing multiple age groups and leagues were escorted into the park by the Hokendauqua Fire Company Station 38. The National Anthem was sung by members of the Whitehall High School chorale. Tim Sommer, HPPA President, introduced the teams and their coaches and provided an update on park projects that have been completed, being worked on, and future plans.

The HPPA board, sports commissioners and other volunteers were also introduced. Ceremonial first pitches were thrown out by the youngest girl and boy in attendance with the catches being made by the oldest girl and boy that day.

The highlight of the agenda was the celebration of the 60th anniversary of the 1962 Biddy championship team. This reunion and celebration was coordinated by HPPA past president Mike Frana.

Members of the 1962 Biddy baseball league championship team were: Rick Bowman, Ron Gerhard, Tom Gross, Bob Hartman, Joe Juretus, Cliff Mangan, Jerry Matika, Jeff McFetridge, Tony McGurrin, Ron Peters, Dave Raber, Steve Remaly, Fritz Saganowich, Ron Spagnolette, Ross Steckel, Mike Tomasic, John Tremblay and Roger Young.

The team was coached by Steve Saganowich, Henry Gerhard and Dick Bowman.

Team members in attendance shared their memories of that 1962 season and what it meant to them, then and now. John Bowman spoke on behalf of his dad and 1962 Biddy coach – Dick Bowman. Mr. Bowman was also one of the founding fathers of the association that was formed in 1958.

All players and coaches were treated to hot dogs and drinks following the ceremonies. A home run derby was kicked off by the members of the 1962 team followed by home run derbies for both the girl and boy players.

Contributed photos Members of the 1962 Biddy team who were in attendance are: (left to right) Mike Tomasic, Joe Juretus, Jerry Matika, Fritz Saganowich, Rick Bowman, John Tremblay, Bob Hartman and Roger Young.
The 1962 Hokendauqua Biddy baseball team.