Lonegan "Lon" Bonczek, Class of 1954 was an exceptional baseball player at Bartlett High School.
In his junior year, Lon started in center field. Lon quickly developed a reputation as one of the best players in Central Massachusetts. Local newspaper articles described him as "possessing a booming bat, and a key in many of the Bartlett victories;" "besides being a powerful hitter, Lon patrols the outer garden in big league fashion;" and "His strong, accurate arm makes him a defensive star." Lon continued to impress his opponents. At the conclusion of his junior season, Lon had an incredible .479 batting average, which was 87 points higher than his closest teammate. He averaged 2 RBIs per game and 2 hits per game.
In his senior year, Lon was selected as a Co-Captain for the team and again started in center field. In a game against rival Wells High School in Southbridge, he hit two home runs, the second being described in the Webster Times as "another blast that really sailed." Batting cleanup, Lon led the team in batting average, home runs, and was the team's leading clutch hitter. His .275 batting average was 66 points higher than that of his closest teammate. Lon was also known as "Bingo", and The Webster Times wrote, "Baseball fans will always remember not only the terrific hits Bingo made, but his outstanding fielding ability as well;" and "the co-captain of the 1954 baseball team not only sets a fine example by his conscientious attitude, but by his brilliant ball playing; at bat he is a picture of grace, and afield he is lithe as a tiger." At the conclusion of the season, Lon received the Babe Ruth Foundation Award for outstanding sportsmanship with emphasis placed on classroom activities, the school community, on athletic fields, and in church-home community.
While Lon always excelled in ability, dedication, and leadership, the highest compliment was paid by his coach, Hall of Famer Ziggy Strzelecki, more than 20 years later, when he described Lon as "one of the two best and most competitive players I've ever seen;" his "greatest pressure hitter;" and "the best major league prospect" he's coached.
Following graduation, Lon continued to excel in baseball as Co-Captain of the American Legion team where he batted .475 and was selected as the American Legion MVP. He played four years of baseball at Duke University, was chosen Captain his senior year, and batted over .400 in both his junior and senior years. Lon was selected to the All-ACC Team three times and was signed by Major League Baseball's Philadelphia Phillies.
Lon is retired following a career in human resources, security, and building services for several tech companies. He presently resides in East Falmouth with his wife Mary. They have 2 children, Bethany and Michael.