By Dan Polischuk
Special to The Record
For 20 seasons, homegrown player Jeff Pietraszko covered the left field turf for the Kitchener Panthers. Now, his name joined the line-up of members in the team’s Hall of Fame.
Prior to watching his former club lose 10-1 by the first-place Barrie Baycats at Jack Couch Park, he joined Bob McKillop, Kevin and Randy Curran as well as Tom McKenzie in having their banners unfurled at home plate.
Busy these days with family obligations and coaching, Pietraszko explained how the team contacted his wife to convey the news.
“You play the game just to play the game and at the end, if you play it right … It just happened to be that I played here long enough,” said a humbled Pietraszko on receiving the honour.
He definitely hadn’t planned on playing for the Panthers as long as he did though.
“I loved the game so much that I couldn’t imagine walking away from it,” he said.
“Baseball’s great, but the relationships that you build with everyone … last a lifetime. I’m still friends with many of them.”
After the game, current Kitchener skipper Dave te Boekhorst, called the recognition “fantastic”.
“He was one of the best competitors that I played against. When he was at the top of his game there was, respectfully, nobody better.
“Just a devastating right-handed hitter and definitely a great guy to have around.”