On Friday, September 8, 2017, Mark was invited to speak about his book, "1917-2017: One Hundred Years of White Sox Baseball." His audience was Polanki - the Polish Women's Club of Milwaukee. The event was held at The Villa of St. Francis in Milwaukee and nearly 80 people were present. After his well-received presentation, Mark sold and autographed several copies of his book. In the photo, Louise Cieslak poses with Mark after purchasing a book for her husband who is a loyal White Sox fan! Thank you Louise! Thank you Polanki for the invitation!
On Monday, August 21, 2017, Mark traveled to Carbondale, IL from Lake Geneva, WI to
take part in the festivities surrounding the full solar eclipse in this southern Illinois city.
Carbondale is a city of 25,000 people and home of the University of Southern Illinois
Salukis. On this day, over 90,000 visitors converged on Carbondale to witness a-once- in-
As Mark got closer to Carbondale, traffic on Interstate 57 was starting to build, so he got
off the expressway and began to meander through the small towns of Southern Illinois to
get to his destination: Carbondale.
Not having secured the proper sunglasses to safely view the eclipse, Mark stopped at a
few stores and gas stations to see if there were any available. No luck. He continued on
his drive and came across the small town of Zeigler, IL – population 1,750 residents.
Rather than just driving through, he decided to get a closer look into the town. What he
discovered was a quaint downtown square – and a library! Mark remembered that
libraries were providing NASA approved sunglasses and decided to stop in to see if this
was the case in Zeigler. The lady inside directed me to some people who were setting up
for the eclipse in the parking lot where other towns people were assembling. To my
surprise, the people in the van were from the Adler Planetarium in Chicago! They were
setting up to view the eclipse on the library’s front lawn. They gave me a pair of
sunglasses – free!
Mark decided to return the hospitality. He asked if the librarian was present so that he
could present a copy of his book, “1917-2017: One Hundred Years of White Sox
Baseball” to the library. She was!
Although the focus of the day was the solar eclipse, Mark and Peggy had a nice chat and
he discovered that Peggy has been the librarian for the Zeigler Library for 41 years! What
dedication – and you can see Peggy has greatly loved and enjoyed her service to the
community. In return, you could see they love her, too!
The drive to Carbondale to witness the solar eclipse was a fantastic experience for Mark,
but equally so was his visit to this beautiful, small downstate Illinois town where
hospitality abounds! Thanks, Peggy Carpenter! Thank you, Town of Zeigler!
(By the way, baseball fans may want to learn more about two major leaguers who hailed
from Zeigler: Babe Martin, outfielder and catcher for the St. Louis Browns and Boston
Red Sox, grew up in Zeigler AND Mike Milosevich, shortstop for the New York
Yankees, was born in Zeigler.)
On Saturday, July 29, 2017, the Chicago White Sox hosted the Cleveland Indians in a "throwback game" honoring the 1917 World Champion ChiSox team. Mark was in the stands and also received a 1917 World Series team jersey. Even though on this day the White Sox fell to the Indians 5-4, it was a great event honoring a fantastic team from a century ago.
During a recent road trip, Ann & Mark visited their great friends, Donna and Doug Callaghan, in Nashville. Doug was gracious to write a comment on Mark's book, "1917-2017: One Hundred Years of White Sox Baseball" that appears on the book's back jacket. During their stay, Donna was equally gracious in offering "Southern Hospitality," including a home cooked fried chicken dinner with all the fixins! Delicious! What wonderful hosts - and friends! Thanks, Donna! Thanks, Doug! (Being a big Tamp Bay Rays' fan, Mark wished Doug the best as he pulls for his team to make the playoffs in the A.L. East.)
While visiting their daughter, Karen, son-in-law, Matt, and granddaughter, Estelle, in their new home near Syracuse, N.Y., Mark drove to the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown to present an autographed book to John Horne, who is the chief librarian for the Baseball Hall of Fame Museum and Library. John was instrumental in Mark’s obtaining the rights to the 1917 Chicago White Sox team photo used for the cover of his book, “1917-2017: One Hundred Years of White Sox Baseball.” Also, Mark gave a copy of his book to Drew Taylor for his consideration in making the book available for sale to museum-goers. Drew is the Retail Buyer for the HOF Museum. Mark said his book would be an especially good addition for people looking for items - specifically White Sox enthusiasts - since the 2017 HOF Class includes former White Sox outfielder, Tim “Rock” Raines.
Later in the day, Mark spoke with two book store owners about the sale of his book. Karen Johannesen, owner of The Cooperstown Book Nook, ordered six signed copies. Later, Travis, at Willis Monie Books, and Mark discussed a book signing event during the 2018 Hall of Fame Induction Weekend. Once Mark’s schedule for 2018 is firmed up, he may take up the invitation to appear at Willis Monie Books.
All in all, Mark’s visit to the Baseball Hall of Fame was very beneficial. If you haven’t had the opportunity to visit Cooperstown, Mark highly encourages one to make plans to travel to this historic site to soak up the rich history and tradition of baseball – “America’s Pastime!”
GO WHITE SOX!
Dr. Mark Pienkos was born in Chicago. His parents were Stella and Edward who worked in factories to support their family of three boys. Mark’s mother only attended school through the 8th grade, while his father went to one year of high school. Mark’s oldest brother, Don, is professor emeritus at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in Political Science and his other brother, Edward, is a surgeon specializing in urology.