On September 27, 2017, while attending the annual meeting of the Polish American Congress in Washington, D.C., Mark met up with his good friend - and very loyal Chicago White Sox fan - Len Baldyga. Besides enjoying a delicious dinner together, Len and Mark exchanged stories about their proud Polish heritage and, of course, being ardent ChiSox fans.
Mark presented his book, "1917-2017: One Hundred Years of White Sox Baseball" to Len. In return, Len returned a book about the great White Sox third baseman, Buck Weaver. Entitled, "The Ginger Kid: The Story of Buck Weaver" written by Irving Stein and published in 1992, it details the life and brilliant career of Weaver. In Mark's opinion, Weaver was destined to become a Hall of Famer, but because of his involvement in the Black Sox Scandal of 1919, Buck never reached enshrinement.
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.