Ann and Mark Pienkos were at the Yankees vs. White Sox game on June 27 as Chicago celebrated Polish American Heritage Night at the ballpark. Since both Ann and Mark are 100% Polish, they wanted to share their pride in their heritage, as well as their pride in being Chisox fans, Their drive from their Wisconsin home to the South Side of Chicago to attend the game was a very profitable one, too!
Outside the ballpark, on the concourse honoring the 2005 World Series championship White Sox team, Ann and Mark met up with several fans. Mark talked about his book and sold copies to loyal Sox fans – several of whom happened to be Polish Americans. Ann and Mark unfurled the flag of Poland and photos were taken on the occasion. One of the fellows they talked with was Paul Skrzypczynski. Mark asked him where he lived and Paul responded that although he now lives in Bolingbrook, IL, he originally was from Brighton Park on the South Side. What a coincidence! When Ann and her parents first came to America, they lived in Brighton Park. They were long-time parishioners at Five Holy Martyrs Catholic Church where Ann went to grammar school. Later in 1972, Ann and Mark were married there with Bishop Alfred Abramowicz officiating. Again, what a coincidence to meet Paul. What a neat guy!
Afterwards, Ann and Mark stopped at O’Malley’s Hot Dogs to have a dog, fries and a R.C. Cola! Delicious! They met up with the new owner, Al Pappalito. Mark and Al had their photo taken together and talked about a possible book signing event later this year at O’Malley’s. That would be a lot of fun - AND the food is great, too! What atmosphere! Just down the street from Guarantee Rate Field – Home of the White Sox! By the way, Al’s dad, Sal, is a real gem. Mark gave Sal a signed copy of his book “1917-2017: One Hundred Years of White Sox Baseball” and wished him STO LAT! (Polish Salutation: “May you live 100 years . . . and more!”)
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.