During 2018 Homecoming festivities at North Kansas City High School, a former member of the Hornet baseball team was honored in a very special way. And this is no ordinary alum.
Joe Presko, a member of the Class of 1946 from North Kansas City was recognized at the Homecoming assembly which included proclamations from city and state officials, a presentation of a Hornet baseball jersey and a lengthy standing ovation by the student body.
Presko was drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals in 1948 and would make his major league debut three years later. On his way to a five year career spanning seven years and the Cardinals and Tigers, he won 25 games as a pitcher.
His passion for baseball didn’t end when his days on the mound were over. He coached for American Legion and Ban Johnson teams which produced their own major leaguers including Royals Cy Young winner David Cone.
The assembly was an emotional one as in the audience were several members of his family, former players on his teams and his wife of 69 years, Kathleen. The afternoon continued with his participation in the Homecoming parade before he was formally inducted into the Hornets Hall of Fame at the Homecoming game that night.
Special thanks to the City of North Kansas City for their proclamation, Missouri Senator Lauren Arthur for the proclamation from the Missouri Senate, and Northtown head baseball coach Bubba Dotson as well as everyone who made the day a special one for Mr. Presko and the Hornet baseball family.
[Photos by Kim Lorenzen]