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Orlando "Pancho" Palesse has softball diamond named after him

The Milwaukee County Parks dedicated a softball diamond to Orlando \"Pancho\" Palesse on Monday in honor of his service to the community.

The dedication at Softball Diamond #2, located at South 82nd Street and West Cleveland Avenue in McCarty Park, was the focus of \"Our Stories with Michele\" a regular feature on the CBS 58 News at 4 p.m. highlighting the good works of people in our own backyard.

\"I proposed this resolution to name the diamond because I believe it is important to recognize the life-long service of Mr. Palesse,\" said John F. Weishan, Jr., Milwaukee County Supervisor, 16th District. \"From his early days playing ball for Marquette University, to his time as a pilot during WWII, to his many years officiating youth and college athletics, to his more recent involvement in athletics for seniors, Mr. Palesse has demonstrated outstanding service to this community.\"

Palesse has contributed to sports in many ways. After graduating from Rufus King High School, he received an athletic scholarship to Marquette University, where he played both football and basketball. With the outbreak of WWII, Palesse left Marquette to become a pilot of heavy-bomber aircraft, the B-17 Flying Fortress. He flew 23 missions. After his return to civilian life, Palesse officiated for recreational leagues, including the WIAA and NCAA. He officiated for the Big Ten for 13 years, retired in 1980, and became the official scorekeeper for the Milwaukee Brewers for six seasons.

Honors have included serving as president of the Eastern Wisconsin Officials Association and induction into the Wisconsin Senior Olympics Hall of Fame, Old Time Ballplayers Association of Wisconsin Hall of Fame, and the Wisconsin Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame.

Palesse continues his involvement in recreational sports as an active player-manager of Milwaukee Seniors 65-and-older and 70-and-older softball teams.

A softball game of the Village at Manor Park Senior Softball League 55+  followed Monday's dedication.

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