Dan Jalowiec started playing softball in 1985
at Clyde Park in Cicero with some friends from
Morton East High School when he was seventeen.
After playing in the 18-and-under League at Clyde
Park, he joined his father Jim, a member of the
legendary Sobies in the early ‘70s, his brother Jeff,
and several cousins and friends to play for the D.
White Stars at Clyde Park and Hawthorne Park. He
played over one hundred games a year for fifteen
years. While in his twenties, Dan often played part
time on other park district teams – the X-Men and
the Pandas. He played shortstop his first few years
before moving to his primary position at second base in 1989.
In 1989 he joined the Gamblers, an established “A” team that was on the brink of competing in the more competitive “A” leagues at Clyde and Kelly Parks. After taking third in his first ASA “A” Nationals in 1989, his love for the game jumped to a new level. In 1990 the Gamblers won the ASA “A” Nationals title and Dan won the batting title and was named tournament MVP. The Gamblers continued competing at a high level in the “A” leagues at Kelly, Clyde, Berwyn, and Hodgkins, winning several league titles and small tournament championships. During Dan’s time with the Gamblers / Lucianos (from 1989 to 1997), they won two Hawthorne Miller Lite tournament titles (1991 and 1996), they won the USSSA World Tournament in 1992, took second in the 1997 Forest Park No Glove Nationals, and won the 1996 TV Pro League, where Dan was named league MVP.
Dan played for the Rockers in 1998 1999. He helped them win the 1998 Forest Park No Glove Nationals. They surprised many in the softball world by beating Lettuce, the 45s, and Puglise on Sunday to claim the title. He played for Sage in Mt. Prospect in 2000.
In 2001, he joined the 45s where he experienced some of his greatest team accomplishments. He played second base for them for nine years and enjoyed playing for two great managers / coaches, eight players who would become Hall of Fame members, and several more great players who are potential HOF inductees. In 2001, the 45s began a string of victories that would include eight Mt. Prospect Classic League championships and seven Hodgkins / Westchester league championships.
Additionally, they won four North / South Tournament titles, three Westchester Tournament championships, four Chicagoland Classic titles, and four ASA State Tournament championships.
Undoubtedly the 45s successes in the top two major tournaments were some of the most rewarding for Dan. The won their first ASA Major title in 2001. They then went on the win six total ASA Major titles, including five straight from
2003 – 2007. He also enjoyed special moments in winning seven Forest park No Glove Nationals with the 45s (2001, 2003-04, 2006 -09). In the 2009
championship game, Dan came to bat in the bottom of the eighth with two outs and the bases loaded. He hit a cut-single down the left field line to score the game-winning run and give the 45s their final Forest Park championship.
Besides the great team successes with the 45s, Dan also achieved many individual honors. How was and ASA 1st Team All American six times and was a 2nd Team All American twice. In 2005 he was named MVP of the Westchester Tournament. Dan ended his career with Nutz after the 45s disbanded after the 2010 season.
Dan was recognized early in his career for having strong power for his size to straight away left field. This led to many homeruns because left fielders often did not respect his strength, so Dan simply hit the ball over their heads. In the early ‘90s, he improved his hitting skills by learning to cut the ball to left field and push the ball to right field. His defensive skills at second base more than matched his offensive skills. He often stole a single from hitter because of his defensive range.
After twenty-five years of playing softball, Dan thanks his
Lord Jesus Christ for all of his blessings, including the great opportunities he has had meeting a lot of teammates, opponents, and friends. He also thanks his loving wife and children, and his supportive mother, brother, sister, friends, and teammates for all of his successes. He gives most credit to his father for introducing him to the great game of sixteen-inch softball at a young age and for teaching him to “think the game”, not just to play it.
Dam and his wife, Jill, have two children: Jimmy and Tommy. They live in Roselle, Illinois.