Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Joe Polcha

Joseph Francis Polcha Jr.

February 24, 1917
Yonkers, NY

March 27, 1959
West Haven, CT

1937-38 Brooklyn Visitations (ABL)
1938-39 Brooklyn Visitations (ABL)
1938-39 Troy Haymakers (ABL)
1938-39 Yonkers Pros (Independent)
1939-40 Troy Celtics (ABL)
1940-41 Baltimore Bullets (ABL)
1940-41 Troy (NYSL)
1942-43 Kaneohe Rangers (Military)
1946-47 Troy Celtics (ABL)

Born to Joseph and Sophie Polcha, Polcha grew up in Yonkers and played basketball in the ABL before being inducted into the U.S. Army in the summer of 1941. He was stationed in Hawaii, and survived the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor that December. He served with honor in various battles in the Pacific, and it was during the battle of Saipan that Polcha was discovered to have a serious lung ailment. He received his medical discharge in late 1945, and returned to Troy and played another season with the Celtics. However, his illness slowly got worse and the athlete had to give up playing. His health declined until 1959, when he finally succumbed to the disease. He was only 42.

Polcha never married, but he was engaged to Alice Reynolds for seven years but died before nuptials could take place

Obituary, Herald Statesman (Yonkers, NY), March 30, 1959


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