Dennis Mendyk played for his native St. Charles through his
sophomore year then transferred to SS. Peter & Paul High
School where he played football, basketball and baseball.
It was on the gridiron where he made his mark as he earned
all-state honors his senior season as a halfback in 1952.
He moved on to Michigan State College where he was a
standout in both football and baseball. The Spartans’
coaching staff moved him from halfback to end during
his freshman year in 1953 as the 6-1, 183-pound speedster possessed an excellent pair of hands. Mendyk earned the nickname “Dennis the Mennis” during his collegiate career mainly because of his penchant of being a thorn in the side of Notre Dame. During his senior year in 1956, Mendyk scored on touchdown runs of 62 and 68 yards in the Spartans’ 47-14 romp over the Irish. He also played in the North-South All-Star football game that year. He played minor league baseball in the Detroit Tigers’ farm system and batted .358 in the Class B Pony League for Erie, Pa. He was a third round draft choice by the New York Giants football team and was slated to back up Frank Gifford, one of the league’s top receivers. But injuries on defense forced the Giants to carry and extra defensive back instead of an extra receiver, so Mendyk wound up in the Canadian Football League where he played for the Toronto Argonauts and the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. It was with Winnipeg where he played in the Grey Cup championship game in 1957 for legendary football coach Bud Grant. He returned to baseball in 1958-59 playing in the Class D league. In 1957, SS. Peter & Paul named the school’s annual Most Outstanding Athlete award in his honor. He currently resides in California.
CLASS OF 2005
SAGINAW COUNTY SPORTS HALL OF FAME