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  • December 14, 2023
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Sleepy Jim Cowley described him as being a natural, the most natural player he ever has on Rose Hill (Fordham). At 5’8”, 198lbs., his body was like a block and his legs were heavy, yet he was uncommonly swift afoot. He could be described more vividly as having the general contour of a small tractor…Steve Filipowicz.

Steve Filipowicz was born in Donora, 1921, the son of Stefan and Gladys Wynocki Filipowicz. As a small boy in second grade, he carried his mother’s basket to the grocery store before the third bell rang at Kulpmont grade school. As a result his classmates called him “Farmer’, a name which would stick with him throughout his lifetime.

“Farmer” began his athletic career as a freshman gridder under coach Mike Terry. He would also star in basketball, baseball, and track in high school, winning the 1939 State B. Championship in the Javelin.

As a football player, he did everything but pump up the football for the Wildcats. As a senior in 1938, Steve and his mates captured the state football title, no mean feat for one of the smallest school districts in the state at that time.

In the 1938 state championship game against Ferndale- remembered mostly for Joe Pezelski’s six touchdowns- Steve threw three touchdown passes, scored one h himself and kicked an extra point. One of the TD passes went for 73 yards to end Sam Brazinski.

Following graduation, he received over 65 scholarship offers from colleges and universities throughout the country, but decided to cast his lot with the Fordham University Rams, then one of the football powers of the nations.

In 1948, while playing for the Sunbury Reds, Filipowicz’s base-clearing double in a Wilmington, Del. ballyard enables Sunbury to beat the Blue Rocks and fellow named Robin Roberts. It was Roberts’ only loss as a minor league pitcher before he joined the Phillies and became a pitcher of the first magnitude.

Categories: 1978 Hall of Fame