Just like major league baseball and many minor teams like the Peninsula Oilers the Frontier Community Services (FCS) World Series of Baseball event has created a Hall of Fame to honor individuals to be remembered thought out time. For the inaugural induction last week at the 10th Annual FCS World Series of Baseball for individuals with disabilities the Governor of the State of Alaska Sean Parnell and his wife Sandy traveled to Kenai during heavy rains to personally congratulate the inductees and the FCS athletes. “I recognize as our founding fathers did that each one of us, regardless of our ability or perceived disability, each one of us is made in our creator’s image and have certain inalienable rights. Every person is valued, and every person has value, every person has a purpose and the love that I see here at this baseball event is something that I appreciate very much and is touching and the love that the Peninsula community has for all of its people is something we should hold close and dear for many years to come. It was great to be here to induct Joe and Ken into the Hall of Fame as a legacy of this event and FCS’s contribution to the community,” said Governor Parnell.
The first FCS Hall of Fame inductee was Alaska’s only professional major league umpire Joe Malatesta, who wanted to bring a day of baseball to people with developmental disabilities, sharing the Little League vision of fair play, sportsmanship and community involvement. For decades, Joseph A. Malatesta Sr. provided investigative services for senior citizens and people with disabilities, to ensure that they received good care and legal representation. Mr. Malatesta brought his dream and ideas to the FCS executive director Ken Duff and the FCS Board of Directors, and the Kenai Little League Board of Directors. FCS held its first World Series Baseball Event on Sunday, June 27, 2004. Malatesta’s efforts provided equipment, fields and lots of support.
The second FCS Hall of Fame inductee was the man who Joe shared his vision with James Kenneth Duff who was hired as executive director in April 2004 the same year the World Series was founded. In the ten years since its humble beginnings, the World Series has become Frontier Community Services biggest and most popular annual event. The goal of this event is to give individuals with developmental disabilities an opportunity to play the game of baseball. It is meant to cultivate the idea of team work, fair play, fun and a feeling of accomplishment for all the players and to promote community awareness of FCS’ services and programs. A goal that Mr. Duff furthered in his ten year career at FCS. Congratulations to the first FCS World Series of Baseball Hall of Fame inductees Joe Malatesta Sr. and James Kenneth Duff.