You obviously come from a well respected sports/recreation family in the history of Kenosha, WI..how did it come to pass that sports was so much a part of your DNA?
That was passed on from my Dad who played all sports as a youth, bowling being his family’s love with both he, my uncle and my grandfather, all in the City of Kenosha Bowling Hall of Fame and my dad and grandfather in the Wisconsin State Bowling Hall of Fame (can I bowl…better than most not as good as some) but he also played many years of softball and was one of Kenosha’s Top Pitchers and played into his fifties.
Discuss that first time you got an opportunity to play the game that would eventually land you in its Hall of Fame.
It was with my father, he was playing 14″ (summer of me turning 16, the name of the team neither he nor I can remember) but future Hall of Famer and future teacher George Becker, future teacher Buzz England (both at Tremper) were on the team. They where short a player and needed a shortstop and the rest, well here I am still playing at 61, you don’t get old because you do!
You collected a truckload of softball hits to the right side of the field, was that by design, necessity or accident?
Necessity! When I started, a really good team like “Stanich Realty” would not want a guy if you could not reach the fence so you better be able to hit down and dirty, backside and play topnotch “D”,
You were a rare breed in that you played the vast majority of your career with that same group of guys and win or lose, it was always pretty easy to know what your teams would look like. Comment on that batch of softball teammates.
Wow! Where do we start? My softball teammates “love them all, both old and new” That statement regarding playing with the same group, is true to a point but I’ve played for so long most of my friends and former teammates can’t walk let along play! Ha!Ha! So now I play with and against their kids. I think all the teams that I played on were baseball players/athletes, played smart, hard nosed ball and made it difficult for the other team to come away with a “W”. The best compliment for my teammates and the teams I played on, came from my friend and now fellow Hall of Famer Dom Tirabassi II. Anytime he played a team that I was on he would go to church twice on Sundays, I would say “Dom, Thanks but you have the best team anyways and now you want help from the BIG GUY?”
The Rotary Tournament nears, what is that favorite “Smooth” Marescalco moment in Rotary history?
Well, as you know, when the Rotary started National Division Team were not allowed to play in the Tournament. I have many fond memories not only playing but watching. I would have say winning my one Rotary Tournament would be my favorite.
Your fellow 2019 HOF inductee Steve “Blade” Hess called you out as the pitcher he owned, here is your chance to respond on a time you got the better of The Blade.
He did own me! I know he didn’t get a hit every-time! (I think I got him out a couple of times) but as I always say, your supposed to be able to hit its slow-pitch softball. Pitchers don’t get hitters out, hitters get themselves out. I got him back, I got him on my team and into bowling.
Making the transition from OF to pitching seemed pretty easy for you, was it as easy as it looked?
Thanks for the compliment but as you know from being a pitcher “No, it’s not easy”, because I was not a pitcher and really didn’t want to pitch. We had a pitcher named Todd Elsen who, because of his job, moved away and you can’t have a team unless you have a pitcher. No one wanted to pitch. So that left me. There was a lot of good and some bad but a lot of fun along the way.
Who is the best you ever played with or against, just 1?
Playing with Stanich Realty, I played with some of the best players in Kenosha history but he gets all the votes…Dick Laba. I had to learn how to throw off either foot,from right-center, to try and keep him from getting a double. It Worked! but only some of time!
What was the first thing that crossed your mind when you were informed you would be joining the 2019 class of the Kenosha Softball Hall of Fame?
Honored to join some to the best softball players in Kenosha Softball History!
One last question, rumor has it you and Blade and “Pops” Kessler and a few others are actually playing in the 2019 Rotary Tournament. Are you nuts? And what do you expect to happen?
I’ve been told I am NUTS. I expect to Have Fun! Catch a few BALLS! Get some HITS! Drink a few BEERS! Enjoy being able to play the game that “I love”.
Marescalco and fellow 2019 inductees will be honored at a ceremony at the Kenosha Rotary Tournament on July 14th at Lincoln Park. The rest of the 2019 Kenosha Softball Hall of Fame class:
Brad Breilling, Dan McGonegle, Steve Hess, Doug Spitzer, Tanya Bertog McGonegle, Kevin McGinn, Butch Schultz, Clarence Bosman, George Bosman, Doug Stanich, Joe Bentz and Al Gajdos