Gail “Bucky” Pistello

In the letter nominating Gail Pistello for membership in the Hall of Fame, she is described as a pitcher with a signature knuckle ball that baffled hitters with its ‘dead action’ and could paint the strike zone with pinpoint accuracy. A glance at Pistello’s statistics shows that this claim is not filled with hyperbole. With several no hit and one hit games to her credit, Pistello has also recorded a perfect game. Gail Pistello’s career began at the age of eleven when her father, “Papa” Joe Pistello, founded the first girls 16″ softball league at Durkin Park in 1972. Playing seventy to ninety games a summer, Pistello pitched for the Angels from1977 to 1990 in parks across the South and Southwest suburbs. One year the Angels boast a won – loss record of 64 – 7. Besides the Angels, Pistello also played with Ringers at Bedford Park and Swingers at Durkin Park in the 70s and 80s. With a lifetime batting average of .600, Pistello also showed her hitting skills by slugging fifty to seventy-five homeruns during her career. Individual awards were not given out during Pistello’s playing days, so she never gained her deserved accolades. This all changed in 1987 when she switched to 11″ softball after the untimely death of her coach, Bill Broukal. Pistello then received three Most Valuable Player awards and was selected to seven All Tournament Teams, two at the national level. With a team of former Rose and Crown players and Angels players, Pistello’s ball skills and leadership qualities carried the team to a third place finish at the Nationals in Jacksonville, Florida. Gail Pistello is a junior high physical education teacher who resides in Downers Grove, Illinois.