"I always remember that there were a lot of kids around," Wisniewski said. "I always remember that there was a game going on, whether it was baseball, basketball or football. We always played. It was convenient. I'd walk down the street and always find a game. The lessons I learned in Weehawken as a kid, I took with me the rest of my life. I still use the lessons I learned through sports."
Thursday night, Wisniewski earned his place among the legends of Hudson County sports when he was among 16 inductees into the Hudson County Sports Hall of Fame. The 15th annual induction ceremonies were held at the Casino in the Park in Jersey City.
Wisniewski, who now calls East Norwalk, Conn. his home with his wife and three children, battled a snowstorm to get back to Hudson County Thursday for the event.
"I absolutely have a lot of great memories from my days in Weehawken," Wisniewski said. "This was a great honor for me. It came totally out of the blue. I didn't expect this at all. It's always nice to be recognized for the things you've done in life at the place where you grew up. Weehawken is always home. It has a real special meaning for me to come back. I hadn't given much thought to being a Hudson County Hall of Famer, but it's a highlight for me."
Wisniewski earned an amazing nine varsity letters in three sports, namely football, basketball and baseball, before moving on to the University of Pennsylvania and having a fine career there as well.
Wisniewski was a standout at Weehawken from 1961 through 1964, playing varsity in all three sports for three years. He was a prolific football player for the Indians, earning All-Hudson County and All-State Group II honors.
As a quarterback, Wisniewski was a fine runner and passer and showed it in a game against Marist in 1962 in his junior year, when he totaled nearly 300 yards in passing and rushing and scored five touchdowns.
As a basketball player, Wisniewski was a starting point guard and tenacious defender. He was considered the best defensive guard in Hudson County during his heyday.
As a baseball player, Wisniewski was a fine second baseman who was also a feared power hitter, hitting an amazing 12 home runs his senior year, including four in one game. He led the Indians to the North Hudson championship in 1964, where they were stopped by one of the greatest pitchers in the history of Hudson County, the late Ken Calabrese of Snyder in a 1-0 Snyder victory.
In 1964, Wisniewski was presented with the Best Present Day Athlete award by the Jersey Journal and the Athlete of the Year award from the Sabello Association, as the top all-around athlete in Hudson County.
Standout in Ivy League
After graduating from Weehawken, Wisniewski went on to Penn, where he began his career as a quarterback, but finished as a wide receiver, playing three varsity seasons at the Ivy League school. In his final collegiate game against Princeton, Wisniewski caught nine passes (all in the first half) before leaving the game with a knee injury.
Wisniewski also played three years of varsity baseball at Penn and was the team's captain and leading hitter his senior year. At the end of his career at Penn, Wisniewski was presented with the prestigious Class of 1915 award, given to the best graduating athlete at the school.
"I was fortunate to play baseball and football in college, but I had all the basics and fundamentals because of my days in Weehawken," Wisniewski said.
Since his graduation from Penn, Wisniewski has been involved with the sales of high-technology equipment.
Others to get inducted included former Jersey City State and Montclair State basketball coach Ollie Gelston, a Jersey City native; world record holding track star Larry Ross of Jersey City, national gymnastic legend Frank Cumiskey of West New York, Secaucus High School track coach and athletic director Stan Fryczynski, Kearny track coach and former athletic director Jim Cifelli, Harrison girls' basketball coach and athletic director Jack Rodgers, Marist girls' basketball coach Bill DeFazio, County Prep baseball coach Mike Zadroga, and Bayonne High School swim coach Thomas Wojslawowicz.
Also gaining induction were former Queen of Peace, Harrison and Kearny football coach Ralph Borgess, former St. Joseph of the Palisades and Notre Dame grid standout Tom Liggio (the current Hudson County freeholder), former Hoboken grid standout Bobby Lisa, and former Union Hill and Assumption College basketball star Eric Inauen, who is currently a deputy fire chief for the North Hudson Regional Fire & Rescue.
Jerry Meyers, who has been the president of the Lincoln Park Little League in Jersey City for the last 30 years, is the 2005 recipient of the Marty Seglio Community Service Award, given in memory of the late Weehawken resident and former St. Joseph of the Palisades athletic director who constantly gave of his time to help athletes.