Christopher William Rocco

Chris Rocco grew up in Chicago, on “The Island”(Austin Boulevard and Roosevelt Road), and was an active player during the Golden Age of Chicago Softball, having begun playing as a youngster in the West side Key Clark school yard with neighborhood boys and his younger brother, Peter Rocco, Jr. (HOF). Chris’s career began in the 1940s, playing on at least a half- dozen championship teams, notably Murphy Motors, which won the American championship at Grant Park in 1948 and 1949. Logging in about 300 home runs and batting in over 700 runs in his career, he played in challenging West side leagues, winning many championships, including the 1979 Governor’s Lanes team which won the Clyde Park Senior title, featuring the oldest players ever to win that honor, with some players near fifty years of age. In 1952, while working for the Pullman Company in the Merchandise Mart he played on that winning team which took the league’s title. Five years later in 1957 the Sportsman team, with four future Hall of Famers, won the Garfield Park Senior title. In 1959, Song Lounge, with Chris and younger brother, Peter, together with a total of seven future Hall of Famers, won the Senior Softball League title at Garfield Park. Chris also played for Raytheon, a team that included Tony Reibel (HOF), when both worked at the Merchandise Mart. Chris later played for Comfy Tap. In 1972 Chris was on the Governor’s Lanes championship team, which took the Clyde Park Senior title. Chris played second and third base in leagues in Cicero, Oak Park, Chicago Park District, La Fayette Park, Chicago and Kedzie league. Before his retirement from softball in 1979, Chris played in these locations: Chicago Park District – early 1950s; Comfy Tap, mid-1950s, Chicago & Kedzie League; Moose Camillo’s team after 1956 until early 1960s; Oak Park League – late 1960s; Governor’s Lanes – late 1970s; Cicero League – early years and 1970s. At the time of his death, December 1997, Chris was with the Cicero Police Department. His parents, Peter and Della Rocco predeceased him. He is survived by his siblings, Christine Rocco, Peter and his wife, Jennie Rocco; Angela Rocco DeCarlo, and her husband Dan DeCarlo. Christine and Jennie have since passed away. He has five nephews: Peter and Dan Rocco, Mark, Michael and Dan De Carlo. They continue the family tradition of being avid baseball players. Peter spoke for himself and Chris when he stated, “We played for the love of the game. “Softball and baseball are sports players can continue to play for most of their lives if they wish”. They are demanding but ultimately uplifting sport.