Joe “Sammy” Ososki

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  • December 15, 2023
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Joe “Sammy” Ososki is a Mt. Carmel boy who left home and “made good” a great example of a person who used his athletic career as a springboard to success in other fields.

He was one of Mt. Carmel’s greatest runners; one of the few who captioned the team as both a junior and a senior.

In 1939 he enrolled at Fordham University and was an immediate sensation. In 1942 Fordham defeated University of Missouri 2-0 in the Sugar Bowl. After the game, the New York Times called him, “Fleetest in Fordham’s galaxy of runners.” He was a great runner; but humble to the point that the Immortal sports writer Red smith characterized him as “a guy named Joe”.

World War II intervened and he left Fordham in 1942, joined the Marines and fought at Iwo Jima. After the war he returned to Fordham where he graduated in 1947. In his final year at Fordham, he played on the Eastern Collegiate All-Star Team, which lost an exhibition game to the New York Giants at the Polo Grounds. The Giants liked him well enough to sign him to a contract, but he injured his knew while playing for the Jersey City Giants, which ended his playing career.

He immediately became an assistant coach at Fordham University and began a recruiting pipeline which resulted in more than 30 Coal Region youngsters playing at Fordham. He remained at Fordham until they dropped their football program in 1953.

Joe “Sammy” Ososkie is the kind of person and athlete Ed Romance had in mind when he felt the need to start a regional Hall of Fame to honor athletes for their contributions.

Categories: 1986 Hall of Fame