I recently found your web site, & although I was honored to have contributed to the Mal Bodenlos fund when I had originally heard about it last year, I was wondering if the ceremonial unveiling of the plaque had actually taken place, & if not, when it would be, because I'd certainly want to be there. Mal was like a close uncle to me. I first met him when I joined PAL baseball @ age 11. By the time I was 15 years old, I was managing a PAL baseball team & basketball team. We became very friendly at about that tme. I became a Mal Bodenlos junky, following him around for an entire day sometimes, starting with his mail route, & then to the baseball fields - AC, Far Rock, O'Donahue, or Redfern. We'd talk about sports & life (is there a difference?), & whenever he was short an ump, either behind home plate or on the bases, I was there to help him.
In later years, when my daughter was born, a few days after we took her home from the hospital, I found out from my friend Joel C. that there was to be a breakfast in honor of Mal. I never hesitated for one second to be there. I have a picture of Mal & me which to this day I cherish, which was taken at that breakfast.
To the unknowing, Mal had
that "Irish" temper, especially when he'd first show up in his station
wagon @ the field, & everybody crowded the car like he was a famous
rock star (I guess you could say he was a FarRock star). To those who did
know him, that smile when he saw someone he recognized was precious &
when he'd hug you, you felt safe & warm.
I can't say enough about this most unselfish, caring, wonderful individual. I only have fantastic memories of him, firmly in my mind.
Les Koenig firstname.lastname@example.org
I was very saddened to hear about Mal's untimely death. I have very fond memories of him between the ages of 6 to 22. He along with my father taught me all about the game of baseball. Later I coached teams in the PAL and helped him whenever I had the time. I also remember his son Bob.
It didn't make a difference who you were, Mal always was there, at the AC Field, 17th street, or the high school field, he was a trooper and great guy. I will always cherish my memories of him.
Alan Budick Class of 1971 at Field3501@aol.com
July 26, 1999
To Current and Former Rockaway Residents:
Mal Bodelnos passed away on June 4, 1998. As many of you know, Mal was the former director of the Police Athletic League in Far Rockaway form the 1950's until about 1980. During that time, he supervised the operation of baseball, basketball, and football leagues as well as numerous other activities.
Recently, the New York City Department of Parks and Community Board No. 14 in Far Rockaway granted permission to erect a plaque in Mal's honor at O'Donohue Park at Beach 17th Street and Seagirt Boulevard.
The monies needed to purchase the plaque must be raised from private sources. If you would like to honor a man who was a role model to thousands of children in the Rockaways and who was an inspiration to all of us who knew him, please feel free to make a contribution. This is not a tax deductible gift.
Checks should be made payable to the order of McKenna & Schneier, Escrow Account for Mal Bodenlos. The checks should be sent to:
McKenna & Schneier, Attorneys
115 South Corona Avenue
Valley Stream, New York 11580
Any monies raised in excess of the cost of the plaque, will be applied to a stone casing and a tree planting to enhance the park's appearance. Any additional funds beyond that will be donated to the New York City Department of Park in Mal's honor.
Please pass the word to other residents so that they may participate in this memorial. Thank you in advance for your generosity and cooperation.
Very truly yours,
Editor's note - Any stories, memories, and recollections about Mal will be greatly appreciated and posted here for all to read. Please send to Skip Weinstock at email@example.com
I just read the entry on Mal...I played 8 years of PAL ball (probably with the lowest career batting average ever recorded!)....It's amazing--more than 20 years later, I vividly and fondly remember so many "Mal-isms" hollered at us...he was always complimenting me on my "be-YOOO-tee-ful" swing...it's just unfortunate that that swing missed the ball! As I recall, I think Mal's mail-delivery route included our house from time to time. :-)
I am pleased that efforts are underway to honor Mal with a plaque...but has any thought been given to having the field renamed? (Who WAS O'Donohue?) Or are there too many bureaucratic hoops to jump through on that one?
--Roger Baumgarten '78
In reponse to Roger Baumgarten*s inquiry about have the field renamed in Mal*s honor; Alan looked into the matter and was told it would take years. Roger is correct when he states there would be too many bureaucratic hoops to jump!! It would take the legislature to change the name. It was decided that the plaque would have to do.
Gordon Freed 1969
PS Skip, thanks for posting the letter on your site.
I just stumbled on to the Rockaway web site yesterday. What a joy. I graduated in 1981, and haven't been back to FRHS since that summer. As for Mal, he and my father were very close friends. My dad was Frank Favilla, community relations at the 101. I had known Mal since I was a little girl and my dad would take me to FRHS football and baseball games. Mal was always there. I also spent many, many summer days at 17 street as a girl.
Mal was a very special person and he meant a lot to my dad. I remember his passing had a deep impact on my father. Whenever my mind drifts back to Rockaway, (more and more these days) Mal is always a part of the memories.
Nancy Tora, Class of 1981