It is fitting that since the names of the Branford Sports Hall of Fame Inductees are prominently displayed at the Community House Stanley “Soko” Sokolosky should be enshrined. The ground breaking for that building was the completion of a dream for the Branford man who worked for 35 years for SNET but spent his sporting seasons with teams associated in this town.
Although he also played basketball and football, baseball was Soko’s game. Johnny Knecht, also a BSHOF Inductee, helped Sokolosky refine his swing from a cross handed “ax-swinging” style to the more conventional form and that helped his success on the diamond.
Frank McGowan, another BSHOF Inductee, often regretted not getting Soko a major league tryout. Although many felt that swinging from the left side would have made him a much better hitter, he possessed all the tools- the strong arm, speed, power and an uncanny eye.
Sokolosky helped start the SNET company teams in basketball and baseball. He also organized many competitive ventures in golf, which later became one of his most prolific and enjoyable pastimes. He played for several area teams and with many of the notable athletes of the era. In basketball, the Hull Brewers, West Haven Devils, and East Haven Jeffs utilized his talents, while in baseball it was the Sportsmen, MIF, and Branford Townies.
The National Recreation Association honored him in 1958, and the New Haven Tap-Off Club inducted him into its Hall of Fame in 1976. Of all his honors, though, the full utilization of a Community House for Branford’s Citizens is probably the one he’d pick as his proudest.