Year Inducted: 1977
Nominated By: Betty & Howard Holloway
Sports Competed In: Baseball
Athlete, Coach or Contributor: Athlete, Coach

Joe Bonaquista

High School:
Attended Trinidad H.S., graduating in 1960.

Achievements:
High School:
● Three-year member of the baseball team (1958-60)...Team's top hitter for three seasons and led the South Central League with a .509 batting average (BA).
● Played three seasons of basketball at guard (1958-60).
● Played for American Legion Post 11 (Trinidad)... Team's top hitter for two years (.337 & .388 BA).

College:
Went to Trinidad State College (TSC)...Transferred to the University of Northern Colorado (UNC) the following year and graduated in 1964...Completed work on his Master Degree at University of Northern Colorado (1966).

Achievements:
College:
● Played shortstop at TSC and was the teams' top hitter for a year (1960-61) earning him kudos to the All Empire Conference team.
● Played three seasons at UNC in the infield (2nd base/shortstop/3rd base) from 1962-64.
● Earned All-Rocky Mountain Conference honors as an infielder (3rd base).
● Two-time All District 7 (2nd base/shortstop).
● Holds two school records at UNC: Number of hits in one game (6) and longest hitting streak (20 games)...Was UNC's top hitter at .393 BA.

Coaching Career:
● Head Coach, Weld Central High School Keensburg, CO (1964-65).
● Head Coach, Roncalli High School (1966-67).
● Hired by Dist. #60, Corwin Junior High (1968-70).
● Spent eight years as Head Coach Pueblo East H.S. (1971-78).
● Led the Eagles to three South-Central League titles.
● Amassed a record of 170-67.
● Named "Coach of the Year".

Honors:
● Four-time selection - "Who’s Who Among American Teachers".
● Inducted into the University of Northern Colorado Hall of Fame (2008).
● Known as "Have Bat will Travel" in his later years.
● Has five baseball World Championship rings (2012).

Related Activities:
● Played second base for the Pueblo Diablos... Four-time All-Metro league infielder.
● Returned to the baseball diamond and played for the World Champion Chicago Spirit and won the Roy Hobbs World Series in Ft. Myers, Florida (April 23, 2009)...Hit his best at .435 batting average, knocking in nine runs and scored seven times. .

Quotes:
"I was shocked how well Joe played and I was even more shocked when I found what he had gone through", he didn’t tell anybody he had Guillain-Barré Syndrome. "He's not the type of person who wants sympathy. He’s just a remarkable person and he has a lot of guts and determination."
-- Chicago teammate Mickey Alpert speechless.

Occupation:
● Teacher and coach for 28 years in School District #60.
● Coach at East High School for 28 years (1970-1998).

Personal:
Lives in Pueblo with his wife, June.


GPSA "B" By The Numbers

LEGEND: p = awarded posthumously; ^= attended first meeting; * = deceased;+ = charter member (placed after year inducted)

 1

All Sports
Ernest E. "Ernie" Ballotti (1981*)

Athlete/Contributor
Dave Baxter (1981*)

Attended Pueblo East H.S.
Jordan B. Berge (2000)

Basketball/Football Offical
Dave Baxter (1981*)

Boxing
Jim Blanc (1989)

City Parks Supervisor of Recreation
Leonard Butler (1998)

Coach
Tom Brockman (1994)

Coach/Contributor
Raymond T. Baker (2009)

Contributor
Ross Beatty (1977*)

Cross Country
James A. "Spank" Blasing (1979)

Girls Sports
Jessie F. Banks (1996)

Honorees Awarded Posthumously
Robert "Bob" Busia (2017*p)

Radio Announcer
Ross Beatty (1977*)

Tennis
Anne D. Beblavi (1995)

Wrestling
Jim Blanc (1989)

 

2
Basketball
James "Christy" Bivin (2010)
Jim Bongirno (1987*)

Softball
Robert "Bob" Bonner (2022)
Raymond T. Baker (2009)

Track
Richard Michael Busia (2017)
James A. "Spank" Blasing (1979)

Athlete
Michelle R. 'Shelly' Borton (2014)
Jeff Bonacquista (2007)
Anne D. Beblavi (1995)

3
Basketball
Michelle R. 'Shelly' Borton (2014)
James "Christy" Bivin (2010)
William F. "Bill" Brown (1994)

 

4
Attended Pueblo Central H.S.
Richard Michael Busia (2017)
Robert "Bob" Busia (2017*p)
Raymond T. Baker (2009)
Leonard Butler (1998)

Attended Pueblo South H.S.
Richard Michael Busia (2017)
Robert "Bob" Busia (2017*p)
Michelle R. 'Shelly' Borton (2014)
Jeff Bonacquista (2007)

Athlete/Coach/Contributor
Robert "Bob" Bonner (2022)
James "Christy" Bivin (2010)
Jim Blanc (1989)
Jim Bongirno (1987*)
James A. "Spank" Blasing (1979)

Attended Pueblo Centennial H.S.
James "Christy" Bivin (2010)
Anne D. Beblavi (1995)
Jim Blanc (1989)
Jim Bongirno (1987*)

Attended H.S. Inside Colorado
Dave Baxter (1981*)
Lamar H.S., Lamar, CO
Tom Brockman (1994)
Thomas Jefferson H.S., Denver, CO
Joe Bonacquista (1997)
Trinidad H.S., Trinidad, CO
William F. "Bill" Brown (1994)
Wray H.S., Wray, CO

Attended H.S. Outside Colorado
Jesse F. Banks (1996)
Lindsay H.S., Lindsey, OK
Ernest E. "Ernie" Ballotti (1981*)
Mooseheart H.S, Mooseheart, IL
James A. "Spank" Blasing (1979)
Manhattan H.S., Manhattan, KS
Ross Beatty (1977*)
Chicago H.S, Chicago, IL

Football
Richard Michael Busia (2017)
Robert "Bob" Busia (2017*p)
Tom Brockman (1994)
Jim Blanc (1989)

 

 

 

5
Honorees Deceased
Ernie Ballotti (1981*)
Robert "Bob" Busia (2017*p)
Jim Bongirno (1987*)
Dave Baxter (1981*)
Ross Beatty (1977*)

Baseball
Robert "Bob" Busia (2017*p)
James "Christy" Bivin (2010)
Jeff Bonacquista (2007)
Jordan B. Berge (2000)
Joe Bonacquista (1997)

 

6
Athlete/Coach
Richard Michael Busia (2017)
Robert "Bob" Busia (2017*p)
Jordan B. Berge (2000)
Leonard Butler (1998)
Joe Bonacquista (1997)
William F. "Bill" Brown (1994)

 

21
Honorees in "B" Section

Remembering Our Fallen GPSA Inductees

The Greater Pueblo Sports Association (GPSA) has announced a list of honorees that have passed since the 2022 induction ceremony on Nov. 16.

 

Dennis TrujilloDennis Trujillo
11/28/2022
Class of 2007