Frank J. Matecki, 85, salesman active in sports

September 03, 2005

Frank J. Matecki, a retired salesman and a member of the Oldtimers Baseball Association of Maryland, died of bladder cancer Wednesday at Franklin Square Hospital. The longtime Perry Hall resident was 85.

Mr. Matecki was born and raised in Curtis Bay and attended city public schools. He later earned his General Educational Development certificate.

An outstanding athlete during the 1930s and 1940s, he was a champion quarterback for several Curtis Bay football teams. He also was a co-founder in 1938 of the Curtis Bay Athletic Club.

He was also an outstanding infielder for teams in the Curtis Bay Athletic Association, the Brooklyn Athletic Association and the Susquehanna League.

"He was the Johnny Unitas of Curtis Bay and played some real tough semipro teams that came out of Curtis Bay in those years," said Robert L. Blatchley, a retired lawyer and former football official.

During World War II, he served in the Navy aboard the USS New Mexico in the Pacific as a mechanic. He participated in several campaigns, including Okinawa and Leyte Gulf.

After the war, Mr. Matecki began his 27-year career at the old Glenn L. Martin Co. plant in Middle River as a supervisor in the facility's engineering department.

He also played baseball with the famed Martin Bombers. He was inducted into the Oldtimers Baseball Association Hall of Fame in 1982.

After leaving Martin-Marietta in the 1970s, Mr. Matecki worked for several years in sales with Yankee Engineering Co. until retiring in the 1980s.

For more than 25 years, he was a high school and college football and basketball official with the Maryland Board of Football Officials and the International Association of Approved Basketball Officials. He later served as president of both organizations.

During the 1960s, he was a sports official and coach with the Perry Hall Recreational Council.

Beginning in the 1960s and until the Colts left Baltimore in 1984, Mr. Matecki was a member of the chain crew at Memorial Stadium.

Mr. Matecki was a communicant and longtime usher at St. Joseph Roman Catholic Church, 8420 Belair Road in Fullerton, where a Mass of Christian burial will be offered at 9:30 a.m. today.

Surviving are his wife of 62 years, the former Estelle Haffner; a daughter, Denise Leuschel of Perry Hall; a sister, Frances Zapotocky of Brooklyn; three grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.

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