Inductees to the Carbon County

Sports Hall of Fame

Coaldale inducts Gangaware, Ginda, Palkovich

Monday, May 7, 2012

The Carbon County Sports Hall of Fame inducted its 2012 class on May 27 at Memorial Hall in Jim Thorpe.

This year's Coaldale inductees are as follows:

Charles G. Gangaware

Coaldale's Charles G. Gangaware has always had baseball in his blood. A 1942 graduate of Coaldale High School, "Doll," as he is affectionately known by his many friends in his hometown, entered the U.S. Army following his high school career.

Upon discharge, he became employed by the American Legion, Department of Pennsylvania, on Sept. 25, 1945. He became the Director of Activities in 1965 upon the retirement of George E. Bellis.

Charles was a member of the North Harrisburg American Legion Post 1001, where he served as Commander. He coached Post 1001 American Legion baseball and basketball teams for over 15 years, winning many championships.

Under his direction as the American Legion State Activities Director, he had over 600 teams playing baseball annually. This was more than twice as many teams as any other state in the nation. During that time, approximately 300 players from Pennsylvania have gone on to play in the major leagues and many more in the minors. Thousands have gone on to college out of the Legion ranks on scholarships for their baseball ability.

Charles is a charter member of the Pennsylvania Hall of Fame and was one of its founders. He served as State Vice President and Executive Director-Treasurer from 1968-83. He organized the Capital Area Chapter Hall of Fame in Harrisburg and served as its president for the first five years. He was inducted into the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame in 1997.

He served as Vice President of the Phillies Baseball Federation from 1965-85 and was Director of the Pittsburgh Pirates Foundation from 1965-83. He was a major league scout for seven years for the Dodgers, Orioles, Indians and the Phillies. He was director of the Pennsylvania Special Olympics for six years. Doll also served on the Harrisburg Recreation Board for 10 years and on the Susquehanna Recreational Commission for four years.

He retired from the American Legion in December, 1985, and now enjoys golfing, bowling and attending baseball games.

He is married to the former Irene Jones of Orwin, Pa., and they reside in Enola, Pa.

Peter 'Tim" Ginda

A determined but tough lineman describes Pete Gunda, who graduated from Coaldale High School in 1951.

While at Coaldale, Pete played football on the squad that became champions of the Panther Valley in 1949. Although the season outlook appeared critical, the fighting Tiger team never gave up.

Many of the greats of '48 had graduated and Coaldale had a new head coach who was initiating a new system of plays, but determination and coheviseness prevailed and they were undefeated.

The following year, they lost only one game and had a tie. During Pete's high school career at Coaldale, the Tigers won 27 games, lost two and had three ties.

After graduating, he continued his football career at Stevens Trade School in Lancaster. He played three years there and in his senior season, the team lost only one game.

Pete then moved to Richmond, Va., to help his brother, Harry, who became a parapalegic in World War II. He served as chairman of the board of the Jefferson V.A. in 2000 and president of Ginda and Wax, Inc.

Pete shared his success with his nieces and nephews and has made substantial gifts to his childhood parish, St. John the Baptist Church in Lansford.

His retirement has afforded him the opportunity to spend time fishing and hunting.

Edward J. Palkovich

A versatile athlete best describes Edward J. Palkovich, who graduated from Coaldale High School in 1943. Ed was a four-year standout in football, basketball and track.

Nicknamed "Oscar," Ed was the deep back in the Orange and Black's short punt formation on the gridiron. He was also an outstanding passed and kicker, who paved the way for some memorable Coaldale victories.

Ed was a dash man on the cinders for the Tigers, competing in the 100-yard dash and relaay events. He was also an outstanding performer on Coaldale court squads.

Oscar was born in Summit Hill in 1924 but grew up in Coaldale. Following graduation, he entered the Army Air Force, serving in the South Pacific in the 6th Emergency Air Search and Rescue Squadron of the 5th Air Force. After serving some time in Japan, he was discharged in 1946.

Ed then matriculated to Susquehanna University, where he played football for three years under the famous Amos Alonzo Stagg.

He also ran track at the university while majoring in economics and business, graduating in 1952. He also studied for one year at the California State University in western Pa.

Ed then moved to Westfield, N.J., in 1953, to be near employment in New York City. There, he met his wife, Marge, whom he married in 1958. The couple lived and worked in various places in Northern New Jersey, finally settling in the Pines Lake area of Wayne, N.J. In 1993, Ed retired from Powertech Hydraulics, where he was employed as manager of inside sales and service.

In 1993, he and Marge left New Jersey for the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, where they have been kept very busy. For many years, they housed college baseball players from the NCAA Summer League (Staunton of the Valley League).

They have enjoyed traveling, especially making several trips to Slovakia, where they have discovered many relatives, some of whom they have been able to entertain in Virginia. Ed said they enjoy the numerous and varied activities available in that area and like sitting back to take in the beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Many old-timers in the Panther Valley area will remember Ed as a likeable lifeguard in the early years of the Panther Valley Recreation Center.