Chester J. Poliks, 82, attendant at stadium

January 05, 1996|By Fred Rasmussen | Fred Rasmussen,SUN STAFF

Chester J. Poliks, who was a familiar figure to players and fans at Memorial Stadium where he worked as a bullpen attendant and ticket-taker, died of heart failure Saturday at the Crofton Convalescent Center. He was 82.

Mr. Poliks worked for the Orioles for six seasons, manning gate W-7, after he retired in 1978 and moved from Keene, N.H., to Edgewood.

Said Elrod Hendricks, Orioles' bullpen coach and former player, "He was always there watching out for my kids and my wife, and I knew they were well taken care of when he was around. He took care of all the players' families. The best thing about Chet was that he treated your family like they were his, and he was genuine about it. People like him are hard to find."

"He was popular with both the customers and the players," said Dick Cole, a Southwest Baltimore resident who shared duties with Mr. Poliks at the stadium. "He was wonderful to work with just out of this world."

Mr. Poliks was born and raised in Gardner, Mass., and worked in the family grocery store after graduating from high school in 1933. He played football and softball on company teams in the area.

He enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1944 and was in the supply corps on Guam and in China. He was discharged in 1946 with the rank of corporal and moved to Keene, where he worked for a furniture company. He was vice president of Basketville, a Keene basket-maker, before retiring in 1978.

For 30 years, he covered high school and professional sports for the Keene Sentinel and the Manchester Union-Leader newspapers.

He also worked as a scout for the Houston Astros and Washington Senators. One of his discoveries was catcher Paul Casanova, who played for the Senators.

He and his wife of 59 years, the former Hazel H. Vigneault, enjoyed visiting sports stadiums throughout the nation and attending World Series games, the U.S. Open Tennis matches, and baseball and basketball games.

Services were to be held at 11 a.m. today at the Community United Methodist Church, 1690 Riedel Road in Crofton.

Other survivors include a son, John Poliks of Baltimore; three brothers, Anthony Poliks and Joseph Poliks, both of Gardner, and Edmund Poliks of Suffield, Conn.; a sister, Henrich Boucher of Westminster, Mass; and many nieces and nephews.

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