Little League® International mourns the passing of William Piszek, a founding Board Member of Pitch In for Baseball and Softball, longtime supporter of Little League International, and Co-Chairman of the Copernicus Society of America. He was 63.
Mr. Piszek, a native of Philadelphia, and resident of Lower Gwynedd at the time of his passing, was the son of Edward and Olga Piszek. He was a 1977 graduate of Germantown Academy and attended St. Joseph’s University.
Professionally, Mr. Piszek began his career working for the family business — Mrs. Paul’s Kitchens. Years later, he assumed the title of Marketing Research Manager for the Campbell Soup Company. Following in his father Ed’s entrepreneurial footsteps, Mr. Piszek launched and owned a pair of “Show Case” sports apparel franchise stores.
“Inspired and determined to help others, Bill Piszek saw Little League as a vehicle to provide opportunity to children and communities where none had existed,” said Stephen D. Keener, Little League President and CEO. “Like his father, he devoted a generous portion of his life to promoting youth projects and programs throughout Europe, especially in his family’s native Poland. Whenever and however, he could, Bill found ways to share his family’s love of sports with generations of children, who otherwise would have never had the chance to enjoy the game.”
In 1990, together with his father, Ed (deceased 2004), and Stan Musial (deceased 2013), a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, New York, Mr. Piszek organized a fundraising drive to help finance the building of the Little League Baseball Regional Center in Kutno, Poland. The European Regional Center opened in 1996, is the location where Little League teams from Asia, The Middle East, Africa, and Europe compete annually for a trip to the Little League Baseball World Series. The Regional Center features team dormitories, an administration building, a pair of pavilions, and five Little League baseball fields, two of which bear the names of Ed Piszek and Stan Musial.
Mr. Piszek readily assisted his father with a variety of humanitarian projects. After his father’s passing, he assumed a more active leadership role, serving as the Co-Chairman of the Copernicus Society of America, a private family foundation. Among the examples of Mr. Piszek’s philanthropic efforts included the 2006 launch of an exchange program between the choirs of Germantown Academy and the choir of Nowodworski Secondary School in Kraków, Poland. This initiative extends academic contacts between the schools and has resulted in annual trips to Poland and the United States for dozens of choristers from both countries.
Mr. Piszek is survived by his wife of 28 years, Beth; brothers Edward and George; and children, Ashley, and Andrew. He was preceded in death by his parents, and sisters, Ann, and Helen.