Stamford Historical Society Presents
Law & Order: The
History of the Stamford Police Department 1830-1956
a 2004 Exhibit and more
Dinner and Dance, Saturday April 4, 1970
Honoring Alexander J. Koproski, Sr.
J. KOPROSKI, SR
More than half century has been dedicated to public service by our honored
guest. His dedication to service for others has influenced almost every facet
of social endeavor. His efforts has benefited the religious, the social,
the athletic and the community life of this city.
Al has been known to the athletic fraternity of Stamford. His long association
with the Holy Name Athletic Club began in 1925, as a charter member, of
the group that founded this great organization. He has been Chairman of
the Board of Directors and Trustee for many years and has served as chairman
of many committees- he was voted their "MAN OF THE YEAR" in 1955.
With their teams winning many athletic championships down through the years
the Holy Name A.C. was known as the "HOME OF CHAMPIONS."
He was honored by the Stamford Old Timer's Association in 1962 - not only
for his outstanding contributions to this great organization as a member
of their Board of Trustees, and chairman of many of their committees - but
as one of Stamford 's all-time great athletes.
He has been for many years a member of the Polish-American Business and
He has contributed his time and effort for many years to the Stamford Police
Anchor Club, an organization of Catholic policemen from Stamford. Greenwich
. Darien and Norwalk - holding the office of Treasurer.
Al was appointed to the Stamford Police Department on December 5, 1938.
and served this city as a conscientious and dedicated officer for thirty-one
years. In 1941 he was a charter member of the newly formed Stamford Police
Association. From that time the police association has been enriched by his
leadership, cooperation and dedication. Without a doubt Al is one of the
reasons why today this organization is known as one of the best police organizations
of its kind in the country. He has served for many years as a member of the
Board of Trustees, and his chairmanship of various committees always guaranteed
a successful effort. Words cannot express what his continued assistance has
meant to this organization.
Whenever youth activity programs, testimonials and other affairs are sponsored
by the above groups, they have called for the Koproski touch to act as either
chairman, or co-chairman.
No history of our honored guest would be complete without a review of his
outstanding athletic career. Al was born on October 25, 1904. on Ann Street
. the family moving to the South End in 1905, where he attended the Henry
Street and the Holy Name of Jesus Parochial Schools; he also attended High
His athletic career began on the sandlots in 1919, when he organized and
played shortstop for the Harbor Giants, a successor to the old Hoytville
Club. Al will talk about the Fourth of July game in 1922, when the team walked
to Noroton to play St. John's at 11 o'clock in the morning, winning 5-3;
then walking the tracks to Sound Beach to play at 3 p.m.. defeating them
2-1, with Al hitting two homers.
In 1924 the same group - Billy and Benny Duda, Jim and Al Koproski, Moe
Wilkes, Bing Miller, Al Tomczyk, and Barney Slesh, to name a few - became
known as the Red Sox and entered the City League (American Storage Battery,
Cove A.C., St. John's, and Aberdeen A.C.). In the playoffs they were defeated
for the title by the Cove A.C.
to 1924 Al was active in the Y.M.C.A. circles and represented the "Y" in the track and field events, wrestling, and boxing against
other "Y" teams in the State. The local team compiled an outstanding
record in the various tournaments, and in 1924 Al finished second to Tommy
Rector, a Stamfordite, representing Argentina in the Decathlon in the Yale
Bowl. In a "Y" boxing event the same year at South Park. Hartford
. he lost a close decision for the State Light Heavyweight title. He also
promoted boxing, putting on three shows in 1924 at the old Mission Street
Hall for the benefit of the Holy Name Church Building Fund.
In 1925 Al, along with fifteen others of Polish extraction, organized the
Holy Name Athletic Club. With a current membership of 400, it is recognized
as one of the outstanding athletic groups in the State. The first Holy Name
baseball team appeared that year, with games being played at Woodside and
Halloween Parks. This was the forerunner of many championship teams to come
from this group, with Al playing shortstop or first base through 1931 against
local and traveling teams, and Sundays found them playing at Brewster, Sing
Sing, Scarsdale, upstate and Westchester County.
In 1932, Al, along with playing, managed the Holy Name Club in the Bi-State
League with McKesson-Robbins, Danbury. Brewster, Mt. Kisco. and Lake Mahopac
. They gave a good account of themselves, always a contender, and in 1933
finished second to McKesson-Robbins for the title.
Motorcycle Officer Alexander J. Koproski in Winter Uniform, 1940s
With Al at the helm the Holy Names entered the Twilight League in 1934 with
a roster of Pantas, Czarnecki, Bujalos, Reynolds, Baron, Miller, Sebastian
and Wilkes. At the completion of the schedule there was a three-way deadlock
for first place which the Namers gained. In the playoffs they bumped off
the American Battery, and to clinch the title stopped the Gas and Electric
for the highest honors in the League. Al continued managing the team until
the end of the 1941 season. In closing his active playing career he was with
the Police Department's softball team which won the State title in 1940.
In reviewing the sports history of Stamford. it is doubtful whether any
family can compare with the accomplishments of the Koproskis over the passing
years. The natives of the South End and all of Stamford will sing the praises
of this group: Jim, a catcher with the old Harbor Giants and the Holy Name
Club; Frank (Coke), rated the finest curve ball artist of Stamford and of
the State; Joe (Scotty), star baseball and footballer at High School and
Villanova, and semi-pro baseball; Julius (Boop), a present member of the
Detective Bureau of the Police Department, won laurels at High School in
baseball and football, and at Upsala College was the nation's highest point
scoring fullback in the late '40s; Alice gained fame as a smart infielder
with the Nutmeg Girls' Softball team, New England Champions.
Al is married to the former Gladys J. Kryger, and their son Alexander, Jr.
married the former Patricia Vellequet - they have four children; Leisa 7,
Susan 6, Gregory 3, and Beth 2. His daughter Joan is married to William Fitzpatrick
and they have four children; Allison 8, Scott 6, Brett 5, and Kristin 1.
Al was officially retired from the Stamford Police Department on January
1, 1970. We wish Al and his lovely wife many years of Health and Happiness,
and the enjoyment of their wonderful grandchildren.
Courtesy Alexander A. Koproski