David “Smokey” Swiatek

A graduate of Brother Rice where he played baseball (winning the Catholic League and earning MVP honors), Smokey then moved on to St. Xavier where he played outfield and earned a degree in criminal justice. He started playing softball in 1976 with the Right-On’s in Kelly Park’s major league. He then played for the J’s and the Bobcats (during their final year at Mt. Prospect) and the Beavers. Legendary pitcher Mike Tallo of the Whips approached Smokey about playing with the Whips and the rest is history. A quick defensive player who could play wherever he was needed, Smokey was a left handed leadoff hitter who could hit to all fields and carried a career batting average over .500. Swaitek’s offensive and defensive prowess helped Whips to two ASA National Championships in 1983 and 1984 and two USSSA Championships that same year. Smokey earned 1st Team USSSA All Tournament honors in 1985. Playing with Sportstation from 1986 to 1988, they won the ASA Nationals in 1987. Additionally, Whips won the Forest Park Tournament for five consecutive years from 1982 – 1986. Smokey remembers his first National victory in 1983 at Harvey when the Whips emerged from the loser’s bracket to beat the Stray Cats in a close game as one of his greatest softball moments. After 28 years, Smokey retired from softball in 2004. He ended his career playing at Wentworth and Valley Forge Parks with Tom Mulqueeney’s Scooters and Dan Byrne’s Buzzards. Smokey is a member of the Brother Rice and St. Xavier Baseball Hall of Fame. He lives in Chicago and has been a police officer with Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad for 25 years. He has given up the softball bat to take up golf, a hitting game of a different variety.