Johnson City athletic teams enjoyed consistent success in the late 1950’s, and a big part of that success on the basketball court and the baseball diamond can be attributed to the presence of Michael Charpinsky, JCHS Class of 1959. Mr. Charpinsky was truly an all-around athlete, and his talents and passion for sports led him to numerous achievements in college and beyond.
Mike’s varsity career began in the winter of 1956-57 when he was called up to the varsity basketball team as a sophomore. He would end up with three varsity letters for basketball, and he led the Wildcats to their first-ever appearance in the Regionals at Barton Hall on the campus of Cornell College. As strong as his presence was on the hardwood, Mike’s prowess on the diamond was truly special. He was a pitcher and 1st basemen for the Wildcats in both his junior and senior seasons, and he stood out at both positions. He was voted to the STC all-star team in both seasons on the varsity, and his Wildcat teams won the STC championship in both seasons, as well. Mike threw 260 pitches over the course of 17 innings in one week during the 1958 season, proving both that he played in a different era and that he was willing to do whatever was necessary to lead his team to victory. Mike was the MVP of the STC championship game, and he represented Section IV at the all-star baseball game in Cooperstown. For his many scholastic accomplishments, Mike received the Henry Micholavic award, which was given to the outstanding student-athlete at JCHS each year.
After graduating from Johnson City, Mike went to Hobart College in Geneva, NY, and it could be argued that his athletic career only got better. He was the captain of both the basketball and baseball teams during his junior and senior seasons. He averaged more than 18 points per game as a junior, and in his final college basketball game, he established a court record by scoring 35 points at the Palestra (the University of Rochester’s home court). On the diamond, he led Hobart’s 1961 team to a record of 8-3 which was the college’s best record of the 1960’s. He led the team in wins, ERA, and strikeouts. Mike’s college career was capped by being named Hobart’s Athlete of the Year in 1963. He was inducted into the Hobart College Athletic Hall of Fame in 2010.
Leadership and athletics continued to play a large part in Mike’s life after his high school and college years. He went onto a successful teaching career that spanned 37 years. He coached basketball at Susquehanna Valley for 36 years, leading the Sabers to multiple Division III championships while coaching the varsity team. For his contribution to SV athletics, Mike was honored with placement on the SV Wall of Fame in 2013.
The Johnson City Athletic Hall of Fame is proud to welcome Mr. Michael Charpinsky, JCHS Class of 1959.