Rojek's Dairy, Stan Rojek and Park Manor Lanes

Dublin Core


Rojek's Dairy, Stan Rojek and Park Manor Lanes


The "Rojek" name has at least a three-act legacy in North Tonawanda: Andrew and Pauline Rojek immigrated to the US in 1905 from present-day Poland. They were were carpenters and dairy farmers, eventually establishing Rojek's Dairy at 125-129 12th Avenue. (Andrew would also continue his contractor career). Son Stan Rojek was born in 1919, and he realized the dream of many a North Tonawanda boy by being signed to play shortstop for the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1939. His locker, as luck would have it, was right next to color barrier-busting Jackie Robinson's locker, and it is said Stan was one of the first players in the Dodgers' clubhouse to accept the future legend. Shortly after his baseball career ended (around 1952), Stan returned to North Tonawanda to help with the family dairy. But he was not done with sports: In 1961 Stan and his brothers (Ted and Tony) purchased Manor Lanes bowling alley at 895 Payne Avenue (today the Salvation Army). Stan called in some "major league" favors for the alley's grand opening that August, snagging New York Yankee HOF manager Joe McCarthy to roll out the first ball. The brothers ran the bowling alley while continuing to operate the dairy. Today, "Rojek Field" on Walck Road pays honor to the major leaguer, just a few blocks from the 12th Avenue home that started it all.