Pat Pasko

Pat Pasko grew up in the Bucktown neighborhood on Chicago’s Northwest side. Her athletic talents were apparent from an early age. She attended St. Hedwig Elementary School and Resurrection High School where she played basketball, softball, and bowled. She received M.V.P. honors in all three sports before going on to DePaul University to earn her MBA and her teaching degree. She started playing softball when she was fifteen at Shabonna Park with coach Bernie Kadek. She also played at Hamlin, Kosciusko and Lake Shore Parks and at Mitchell Playground. She entered her prime playing years in the late ‘60s when she played for Casey’s Girls, Hidden Cove Lounge, and the Shags, teams that dominated the competition at many North side parks. Pat was a talented left fielder early in her career and moved to pitcher later in her career. She was a line-drive hitter with good power (lifetime average over .600) who could hit to all fields. She also had an uncanny ability to play the hit-and-run. Besides being talented on the field, Pat was also an excellent player/coach of the Slo-Pokes (HOF) during the mid-‘70s. She not only played for and managed them, but she also supported them financially. During their three-year reign, they were considered the finest team on the North side, compiling a record in 1976 of 61 wins and only two losses. That season they won three league championships and won four single day tournaments. She was also a tremendous promoter of women’s athletics at a time when strides were being made in equalizing athletic opportunities for women. She got her teams showcased at Thillen’s Stadium and once played a charity game against the Bobcats during a Jerry Lewis telethon. Besides being an outstanding softball coach and player, she was the head girls varsity basketball coach at Addison Trail High School and was the assistant women’s basketball coach at North Central College. She also coached the boys gymnastics team at Addison Trail and once took them to downstate competition. She also coached the semi-pro 12-inch team, the Chicago Blue Jays. Pat was always a smart and talented player, but her greatest asset was her fierce competitiveness. It was this competitiveness that helped her overcome multiple birth defects on her way to athletic greatness. Unfortunately, the softball world lost a great player, coach, and promoter when she passed away in 1989.