Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

Sports

June 5, 2013

Local coach tops Buffalo Hall Class of 2013

Dick Diminuco will be inducted this fall at Buffalo Hyatt Regency

(Continued)

BUFFALO —

 
His coverage of the Sabres included the 1974 playoff series against Montreal – the memorable Game Five when Rene Robert’s overtime goal brought the series back to the Aud – and the 1975 Stanley Cup finals against the Philadelphia Flyers with the infamous bat and the phantom fog.
Walter Plekan
A graduate of Lafayette High School, Plekan is widely regarded as one of the nation’s greatest handball players ever.
From his beginnings on the one-wall outdoor courts at Wende playground, the ambidextrous Plekan parlayed his dynamite, hooking serve and unpredictable trick shots to become the greatest handball player in Western New York history. Known for his intensity on the court, Walter captured two state titles by the time he turned 21.
He added the YMCA National Championship and the National Junior AAU titles in 1939. He hit his personal pinnacle in 1951 when he captured the first United States Handball Association 4-Wall national Championship.
While remaining unbeatable at the local level, he was regarded as one of the top four players in the country over a 12 year period. He dominated WNY handball in both singles and doubles competitions for more than 30 years, and he retired from competition in 1953.
He was inducted into the USHA National Handball Hall of Fame in 1991.
Frank Pytlak
At 5-7, 160 pounds, Pytlak was one of the smallest catchers in baseball history. He caught for the Cleveland Indians (1932-40) and Boston Red Sox (1941 and 1945-46). In his career Frankie Pytlak hit .282 with seven home runs and 272 RBI’s. He hit over .300 in four different seasons; 1933 (.310), 1936 (.321), 1937 (.315) and 1938 (.308).
Pytlak was also an outstanding defensive catcher, and once set a Major League record for handling 581 consecutive chances without an error. He was the catcher for Bob Feller when he recorded 18 strikeouts in a game. After retiring from baseball, Pytlak lived in Buffalo and operated a sporting goods store.

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