Every community is fortunate to have them. High energy individuals who feel an obligation to make where they live a better place to be, not just for themselves but everyone else as well. Bob Cetnar was one of those individuals and the folks who live in the village of Hagaman, NY know exactly what I mean.
Bob was born in Amsterdam on February 22, 1946. He graduated from Wilbur Lynch High School in Amsterdam, NY and then served his country proudly as a member of the US Air Force. After his enlistment was up, he was able to land a job with General Electric where he graduated from that company’s prestigious apprentice program and went from working nights in Building 52 to becoming one of GE’s top turbine trouble-shooters. His daughter Tammy told me her Dad once got a crippled oil rig located off the coast of Oman back on line. He retired from GE in 2008 but his professional and workplace relationships remained an important part of his retirement years.
As good as he was at his work, Bob’s family was his reason for living. He married his beloved Mary Lou in 1965 and together they raised five cherished kids who were all excellent athletes. Bob believed strongly that sports could play a constructive role in the lives of every child and he took on the role of Hagaman Youth Commissioner for many years to make sure Village kids had every opportunity to be a part of a team, compete and learn good sportsmanship.
The tradition of excellence in Hagaman baseball has been around forever, from back in the days when the Pileckas brothers dominated local diamonds. Bob Cetnar knew how to play the game as well. He was a slugger in his younger days, one time banging three home runs in a game against suburban league arch-rival Ft. Johnson. He made sure the village’s baseball tradition continued. His career as a coach started with his daughter’s softball team and grew from there..
I’ve already started work on the second volume of “A Year’s Worth of Amsterdam Birthdays” and Bob Cetnar’s complete story will be featured in it. I will be sharing the complete posts of some of the Volume II birthday celebrants in future issues of the Amsterdam Birthday Blog Newsletter. If you are not yet a newsletter subscriber, you can sign up for free here.
The greatest AHS football player I ever saw also celebrates his birthday today.