When Don Colpoys passed away last spring at the age of 83, several generations of Western New York’s finest baseball players lost their greatest coach and mentor.
An All-Catholic catcher for the Timon Tigers before graduating in 1952, his pro career in the St. Louis Cardinals organization was cut short by injury. That bad break in his playing career sent him home to Buffalo where the city’s hardball community was the great beneficiary for the next 60 years.
Over those more than six decades in organized baseball, Colpoys spent time as the general manager of the Buffalo Bisons, 25 years as the Canisius College head coach and 13 years as a player and manager for one of Buffalo’s storied semi-pro teams, The Simon Pures. He’s a member of the Greater Buffalo Sports, Buffalo Baseball, Canisius and Timon Halls of Fame for his exploits on the field, on the bench, and in the lives of the young men he coached.
Colpoys was remembered by his high school alma mater this baseball season as they wore his initials on their jerseys.
“It means a lot to us,” said Don Colpoys Jr., speaking to the team just before a playoff game in Cazenovia Park. Three generations of the Colpoys family were there to say thanks and tell the boys a little bit about the man they were honoring.
“He was a big Timon guy, absolutely loved Timon,” said the younger Colpoys, who also graduated from Timon.
The uniforms honoring Don Colpoys were anonymously donated to Timon by one of the hundreds of young baseball players who remember the great coach as someone who taught a lot about basebll and a lot about life.