Arnold resident John Kokish recently wrote a letter paying tribute to his friend Joseph Cardamone who died Dec. 19, 2018.
Originally from Lock Haven, Pennsylvania, Joe was on the 1948 Little League World Series championship team when he achieved international acclaim for his “handshake of sportsmanship.” During the championship game, one of the opposing team members hit a home run.
When the St. Petersburg, Florida player crossed the plate, Cardamone extended his hand for a congratulatory shake. The photo was featured on the cover of Life Magazine soon after.
Cardamone was a longtime Anne Arundel County resident. He worked for Anne Arundel County Public Schools as a teacher, resource teacher and a school administrator, retiring in 1991 as principal of Northeast High School in Pasadena.
On Dec. 15, 2018, reporter Lou Bernard wrote an article for the Lock Haven Express which commemorated the 70th anniversary of the victory.
Cardamone earned a Bachelor of Science degree from the College of William and Mary, and a Master’s of Science Degree from Morgan State University. He began his teaching career in 1961.
Kokish, and Cardamone met in 1962, when they were working for the school system. Over the years, the two became close friends, and the circle grew to include their families.
After Cardamone passed, Kokish asked his wife of 58 years, Rose Cardamone, if he could read a tribute to his friend, at the funeral.
“I know Rose is a private person, and so was Joe. I wasn’t sure how she would feel about that,” said Kokish, who retired from the county school system in 1996. He worked in human resources.
In addition to reading the tribute, he asked her if he could send it to the Capital. Rose agreed, although she characterizes her late husband as a “humble” man. When asked if she had a copy of the Life Magazine cover that featured her late husband, she stated that if she did, she had no way of finding it among all the other memorabilia.
Kokish’s tribute encouraged people to model their behavior after Cardamone.
“Today’s world needs more Joey Cardamones,” Kokish’ letter reads. “Today’s world needs less in-your-face confrontations, less bullying, less taunting, less trash talk, less road rage, less defiance, less name-calling, less swaggering shows of bravado … Joe’s simple handshake can and should show the world that we can still be a civil society while being on opposite sides of an issue, an opinion, a fence.
“Thanks, Joe, for displaying for us what true sportsmanship is all about. Thanks, Joe, for your display of innocence and graciousness.
Arnold Preservation Council
The Arnold Preservation Council will host its annual meeting Jan. 14 at Asbury United Methodist Church Fellowship Hall, 78 Church Road at 7 p.m. A meet and greet will be held with a business meeting at 7:30 p.m. New representatives for District 5 Amanda Fiedler, County Council and Derek Matthews, constituent services will address concerns and questions.
For more information contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Maureen Thomas can be reached at email@example.com.