Pat Heraty

One of the top leadoff hitters of his era, Pat Heraty was known for his precision hitting, a skill that frustrated infielders and outfielders alike. He started his career in 1975 playing for Dino Franch on the Franch & Sons Trucking Team. In 1981 he joined fellow College of DuPage baseball teammate Bob Fogarty’s Magic team. With a strong squad that featured Bill Spingola, Tom Cahill, Mike Ellerby, Bruce Hill and eventually Mark Malouf, Tim Decker and Johnny Morris, Pat gained valuable experience. Magic won several tournaments and Metros, playing regularly in the Major Nationals and at Forest Park. It was during this period that Wayne Page, an old friend, taught Pat how to “cut” a softball. This skill made him a tough out for the remainder of his career. In 1988 Pat and four other Magic players hooked up with Dick Cooper and the Meadows. At that time it was led by Hall of Famer Terry Moran. Heraty stayed with them for two years until Dick Cooper’s retirement. Pat then joined Fritz Zimmerman’s newly formed March Manufacturing, managed by Joe Mercadante. For the next two years, he had the opportunity to play with Hall of Famers Pat Moran, Jack and Larry Kelly, and Mark Frighetto. In 1992 he was invited to play for Frank Holen and the Miller Taggers. The camaraderie on this team made 1992 one of the most enjoyable years he would experience playing softball. He then moved to March Manufacturing for two years, rejoining Dick Cooper and Terry Moran in 1993 for a run at the national championship. That team came up a game short when they lost in the title game. In 1994 Dick Cooper went back into retirement and Rick Gancarz took over the reins of the new March Manufacturing team. This was a scrappy team that won the state tournament and finished second in Forest Park, losing 1-0 in the single elimination championship game. In 1995 Pat started what was to be an eleven-year run with Hall of Fame coach Bob Rascia and the 45’s. In 1998 Pat helped bring Rick Gancarz to the team and that started the flow of top caliber players like Frank Mustari, Israel Sanchez, Joe Dooley, Rich Villa, Dan Jalowiec, Mike O’Neill, Tony Prochenski, Kurt Uidl, and more recently Mark Holstein, Jeff Berger, Jim Matlock, and Brian Miller to the 45’s. In 2001 with the team now stronger than ever, Pat and the 45’s won its first national championship, a victory that Pat will always cherish. Between 2001 and 2005 this powerhouse team went on to win three more national championships, three Forest Park Championships, and an astounding thirty-eight tournament titles during that five-year period. Over the course of his career, Pat has been named to twelve ASAAll-American teams, the All Classic League Team at Mount Prospect, numerous all-star teams, and was honored with the 2007 Terry Moran Sportsmanship Award. Pat credits his success in softball to top notch coaching, great teammates, and the best batting practice pitcher and number one fan, who never complained at how many pitches he threw or how many games he played in, his wife, Mary. Pat considers it a privilege to have played memorable 16-inch softball for the past thirty-three and to have formed life long friendships. At age fifty-three, Pat continues playing with Sal Milazzo’s Windy City Softball Team in hopes of bringing them a national title. Pat thanks the Chicago 16-Inch Softball Hall of Fame committee for his nomination, and thanks his wife, Mary, his son, Tom, and all of his family, friends, and teammates for their support in making this great honor possible.