Friends help Tom Preston celebrate his 80th birthday

Chuck Kajer, Managing Editor

While most people were celebrating the 230th birthday of the United States, a group of people gathered at New Prague’s Memorial Park to celebrate a lifetime of achievements and contributions to New Prague, especially contributions to its baseball community.

Tom Preston, retired teacher and coach at New Prague High School and a long-time baseball player in the community, turned 80 years old Tuesday, July 4. A large crowd gathered at the park to wish Preston well and to share stories and memories with him and with each other.

Dick Jonckowski, a player on the 1961 American Legion team that Preston took to the state tournament, served as master of ceremonies at the program. Of the 13 members of that team, 11 are still alive and nine of them were on hand for the celebration.

Everyone laughed at us

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