Denise Hancock was one of those rare softball players who showed extraordinary talent from her first day on the diamond. Bev Dagenais, who would become Hancock’s coach, mentor, and lifelong friend, spotted her playing catch with a neighborhood friend when Hancock was just thirteen. Dagenais asked her if she wanted to play softball and the rest is history. Using the shortest bat in the bag, Hancock was introduced to competetive softball. She went on to become a .600-plus hitter who could place a ball down both lines of the outfield, a skill that led to numerous inside-the-park homeruns. Defensively, she was a solid left fielder with great speed and excellent anticipation to the ball. After graduating from Bremen High School, where she played softball in the early days of high school softball, Hancock began her 16-inch career when she moved from the Babe Ruthies 14-inch League to play with the Pets at Blue Island. She then played with Rays in Calumet City, with Maplewood Inn at Calumet park, and with the Rebels in Blue Island. In 1969 she was named Roookie of the Year. She then won the Babe Ruthies Sportsmanship award in 1971 and was league batting champion in 1974 and 1975 in Blue Island. She retired from playing softball in 1986. Denise is a resident of Hammond, Indiana and works for a brokerage firm in Chicago. She is also an IHSA basketball and volleyball official.