Troy's Polish-American Sports HOF, set to induct A.J. Pierzynski, postpones ceremony to fall
The Troy-based National Polish-American Sports Hall of Fame, which is set to induct longtime Chicago White Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski this year, has postponed its ceremony.
The induction ceremony was set for June 18, but now will be in the fall. The Hall of Fame is looking at Oct. 29 or Nov. 5 as possible makeup dates. The date will be finalized by July.
"With the restrictions on travel and movement within cities, as well as, for the safety of our inductees and guests who attend the banquet, the NPASHF board of directors has approved delaying the induction banquet till the fall of 2020," said David Jansen, chairman of the Hall of Fame, speaking of the COVID-19 pandemic. "It is still our goal to honor this year's inductees."
Pierzynski, 43, is the headliner of the class, having played 19 seasons in the major leagues and earning a reputation as a hard-nosed, take-no-gruff player. Those in baseball would commonly say if he was on your team, you loved him, and if he was on the other team, you hated him. Having spent eight seasons with the White Sox, he had many battles with the Tigers. He won a World Series with Chicago in 2005.
Pierzynski also played for the Minnesota Twins, Atlanta Braves, San Francisco Giants, St. Louis Cardinals, Boston Red Sox and Texas Rangers. He retired in 2016.
Other 2020 inductees include three-time Olympic medalist speed-skater J.R. Celski, 29; the late NFL Hall of Famer Bronko Nagurski; and former major-league pitcher Mike Krukow, 68.
The Hall of Fame also plans to distribute Stan Musial Scholarships to six high-school seniors.
The National Polish-American Sports Hall of Fame boasts more than 100 inductees, among them the likes of Stan Musial, Alan Trammell, Mark Fidrych, Mike Ditka and Mike Krzyzewski.