Tony Banaszak Jr.

One of Puyallup highs all-time great athletes, Banaszak earned nine letters as a Viking and four of those were in baseball. An outfielder and right-handed pitcher, Tony was named All-State in both football and baseball, and he was an all-league baseball selection from 1946—49. He played in both City and Valley leagues during the summer and signed with the Boston Braves following graduation. While playing for Ventura in the Cal State League, Tony hit a grand slam and pitched seven innings for the win in a 13—5 decision over Bakersfield. He was 4—1 on the mound with a 0.71 ERA. At Puyallup he had a no-hit win over Sumner, whiffing 19 in a 14—0 victory. He led both his baseball and football teams to league championships in his senior year and was chosen to play in both All-State games in those sports. Signing his pro contract negated his appearance in the football game. His high school batting average topped .500 and his pitching enabled the Vikings to win seven straight games enroute to a title tie. His City League and Valley League appearances were limited because of signing professionally but he one-hit Busch’s Drive-In in a 6—2 win for the Puyallup Eagles in the Valley opener of’49 and he smashed a game-winning homer as McKinley Avenue downed 38th Street 4—3 before 3,000 fans in Lincoln Bowl in an early-season City League contest. Tony’s father also was an outfielder-pitcher and reports indicate that he was one of the better hitters in the late 20s and early 30s in City, (1935 City League Batting Champ), Valley, Northwest and Timber League circles.