Headed to the Hall of Fame
Mike Tofil, President of the Lake Shore Chapter of the Western New York Softball Hall of Fame announced recently that four area residents will be inducted on May 3, at the Woodlawn Firehall.
The four area residents include Rick Bellando, Bob Remington and Joe Woloszyn, as well as Mark Wisniewski.
“All four were well known in local softball circles for their long and productive careers,” Tofil said. “As well as the spirit and class that they brought to the game.”
Remington began his career in 1974 playing with Niagara Therapy and continues to play today with the American Legion team in Brocton.
Remington has had many stops along the way, including playing baseball and softball on post in the Army.
In the Brocton area, Remington spent time playing with Rizzo’s Trucking, Vineyard Lanes, and Vacanti Electric. He was a member of numerous regular and post-season championship teams in the Lake Shore Fastball League, playing primarily at third base. He also played shortstop and pitched for the St. Stephen’s Hotel in Brocton’s Modified League.
Remington also added his skills to many tournament teams that played in Brocton, Dunkirk, Jamestown, Randolph, Frewsburg, Olean, Erie and Harborcreek.
Remington, and his wife Pam have four children, Jason, Eric, Michelle and Emily. Remington also has two step-children, Lindsay and Andrew, as well as six grandchildren. He has been employed by Titanx for the past 27 years.
“Bob Remington is a true lover of the game,” Tofil said.
Woloszyn was a well known commodity for 18 years behind the plate in Dunkirk’s Men’s Fastpitch League.
“He combined steady hitting with solid defense and a great, quick release throwing to secure his spot in the hall,” Tofil said.
Woloszyn played for Meister Construction, Al Smith’s Stars, First Ward Falcons ‘B’, and Falcons I and Falcons II. He also played on tournament teams that traveled to Stratford and Burlington, Ontario, Erie, Pa., Rochester, Dunkirk and Lackawanna.
In one tournament, Woloszyn caught for former National Hockey League player Marty McSorley, which took second place in 1984 in the Queen City Tournament in Buffalo.
Woloszyn retired after 30 years of service to Ralcorp as a Quality Director. He is currently employed as a food safety consultant.
Woloszyn and his wife Kim reside in Fredonia with their two children, Lauren and David.
Bellando played for 18 years in both the Lake Shore and Dunkirk Fast Pitch leagues, primarily as a first baseman.
“Bellando combined solid fielding and hitting to earn his honor,” Tofil said.
Bellando spent time playing for St. Stephen’s Hotel and Castle Inn of Brocton and the First Ward Falcon Club in Dunkirk. He was a member of eight fast pitch championship teams with the Falcon Club and was also active in tournament play. Bellando traveled to play in tournaments in Buffalo, Brocton, Meadville, Pa., Erie, Pa., and helped the Falcon Club finish second in the annual First Ward Falcon Club Fastpitch Tournament in 1983 and 1985.
Bellando is the manager of Smith’s True Value in Irving. He is the father of two children, Stacey and Eric, two step-children Jillian and Janelle and two grandchildren. He is and his wife, Laura, reside in Fredonia.
Wisniewski was the shortstop for the First Ward Falcon Club team after having a stellar career for Dunkirk High School, helping the Falcons to seven championships in the Dunkirk Men’s Fastpitch League. The Falcons won the league title in 1981, ’82, ’88 and ’90-’93, posting an amazing 81-6 league record. Wisniewski was also a regular on several tournament teams that played in Stratford and Burlington, Ontario, Erie, Pa., Buffalo, Rochester, Brocton and Lackawanna.
“A career highlight was in the 1983 First Ward Falcon Club Tournament,” Tofil noted. “Wisniewski played every inning as the Falcons posted a 7-2 record, including playing a combined 52 innings on Sunday en route to a second-place finish.”
Wisniewski has been married to his wife Lynn for 32 years and they have three children (Matt, Jacob and Stephanie) and three granddaughters. Wisniewski resides in Dunkirk and is employed by Chautauqua County.