Poland man, 77, writes memoir
His sports memories are chronicled in a book.
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POLAND --Marion Urichich has played a football season at Campbell Memorial High School with a broken leg, won 12 medals at the Ohio Senior Olympics at age 58 and played pick-up basketball until the age of 69.
But his favorite sports memory came more than 50 years ago when he anchored the winning mile relay for the Marine Corps.
"I ran it cold turkey," Urichich said. "I had never run it before. But I was willing to do whatever they asked."
Of course, like much of Urichich's life, there was a bumpy side to the story. After running the relay, he was so exhausted he stumbled over the side of an eight-foot embankment, rolling across several feet of gravel along the ground.
"I thought I was going to die," he said, laughing. "They had to pick me up like a sack of potatoes."
But, in a pattern he would repeat throughout his life, he recovered in time to enjoy his success.
Urichich, 77, recently chronicled those stories -- and dozens like them -- in his self-published memoir, "One in a Hundred Million," which came out in March. The 392-page book took seven months to write and cost him more than $100,000 to publish.
But the time and expense didn't bother him.
"I wanted to do everything myself," said Urichich, who now lives in Poland. "I'm street-smart, but I'm not smart book-wise, so there are some spelling and grammatical mistakes. But that's me. That's how I write.
"I didn't want anyone to change my flavor."
Urichich, the longtime owner of Marion's Auto Wrecking, said he has survived nine near-death experiences, including being electrocuted by a 240-volt machine, getting the wrong serum for a stingray wound after trying to save two Marines from drowning and falling in the tracks of a moving bulldozer.
"I hope all of you who read my story will come to understand no matter what happens in your life, no matter where you have come from, how smart you are or what trials have been put upon you, you can succeed," he writes in the book's opening pages. "If I inspire 10,000 people or just one to do more with their life ... it will make writing this book all the more worthwhile."
Copies of the book are available at his web site (www.nomanlike-me.com), Borders in Niles, Giant Eagle on Belmont Avenue in Youngstown and East State Street in Salem, Plaza Book Shop in Austintown and at Little Professor Book Centers in Warren and Greenville, Pa.