WEST ALLIS (WITI) -- His hard work has helped keep many seniors in the game in West Allis. On Monday, August 25th, dozens showed their gratitude for the efforts of a man known far and wide as... 'Pancho.'
West Allis' McCarty Park served as the scene for a surprise ceremony on Monday. Scores of senior softball players pay homage to Orlando "Pancho" Palesse by dedicating a field to him. The 91-year-old is widely credited for his work with the McCarty Park Senior Softball League during the past 20+ years.
On this day, Palesse pitched on what is now "Orlando 'Pancho' Palesse Field." Following that dedication, "Pancho" took a few minutes to share his gratitude.
"Our average age in the whole league is like, 67 years old. And they're playing ball, and that's what I'm most proud of. It prolongs their life. I'm convinced of that," said Palesse.
The league includes teams from as far away as Racine, Kenosha and Janesville.
Orlando's youngest son, John, says his father's legacy is a lesson on its own.
"He cares about the people in the league, and the results, I think, are the fact that there are people, here, giving him standing ovation, after standing ovation," said John Palesse.
Meanwhile, Palesse encourages all seniors to stay active -- physically and mentally. He says he will continue to serve as the league's president for the time being. Palesse says he will remain active in the organization as long as he can move.