The Obit For Hank Nasternak

Henry S. Nasternak, professional baseball player
Dec. 14, 1922—Jan. 31, 2012
February 11, 2012, 12:00 AM

Henry S. Nasternak, a standout minor league baseball player during the 1950s, died Jan. 31 at his home in Cheektowaga. He was 89.

Born and raised in Buffalo, Mr. Nasternak became a professional baseball player in 1947 at age 24 and spent 10 seasons in the minor leagues, most of them in the Chicago Cubs’ organization.

Mr. Nasternak made the jump to Triple-A in 1952 after hitting .338 with 161 hits while playing for the Rock Hill Chiefs of the old Tri-State League the year before.

He was the Most Valuable Player on the Chicago Cubs’ minor league team in Sioux Falls, S.D., one year and repeated the honor a few years later while playing for the Cubs’ minor league team in Los Angeles.

Before joining the Cubs’ organization, Nasternak spent three years in the Marine Corps and saw combat at Okinawa during World War II. He also played baseball and basketball for the Marines.

After leaving baseball, Nasternak worked as a salesman at Universal McKinley Liquors in Buffalo. He retired in 1988.

Mr. Nasternak also was active in his local Catholic Youth Organization, where he oversaw its baseball, basketball and bowling teams.

He is survived by his wife of 59 years, the former Mary Ann Mycka; a son, David; a daughter, Denise; two brothers, Walter and Stanley; and two sisters, Helen and Theresa.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 11 a.m. Wednesday in St. Stanislaus Catholic Church, Fillmore Avenue and Peckham Street.