Pete Rocco

Pete Rocco began his 34 year softball career in eighth grade playing on a local team at a school they nicknamed “The Island” around Roosevelt and Austin. He continued playing for local teams all through Austin High School where he also played baseball. He played for Triners Lounge in Cicero and Stickney in 1952 through 1954, winning every league they were in and making the All Star team two years. He then switched to Comfy Tap during the 1955 and 1956 season before he was drafted into the army. Upon his discharge from the army, Pete Rocco teamed up with Hall of Fame member Moose Camillo. They played mainly at Chicago and Kedzie but also ventured into competition at Clarendon, Kelly, and Bellwood Parks. While playing at Chicago and Kedzie, Pete is the only player to hit the CTA building in dead center field with a homerun ball. Pete stayed with Moose Camillo until the team disbanded in 1967. He was part of the famous 1963 game that pitted Camillo against an “All Star” Bobcat team in Melrose Park. Besides Camillo, other Hall of Famers Kenny Green, Johnny Abatacolla, and Jimmy Nallen battled the Bobcats. Pete Rocco played second base and had a couple hits to help Camillo beat the Bobcats. Fans and players estimate that the pot for that game was between $20, 000 and $25, 000. After the breakup of Moose Camillo’s team, Pete played with St. Anthony’s Savings and Loan (later The Cabin) at Berwyn, Cicero, and Lawndale Park from 1967 to 1972. They won their leagues every year, including a big victory at DesPlaines in 1971. Pete then played with Sportsman’s Lounge and Governors Lanes before hooking up with Tony Velacek to form the Sobies, (which later became American Rivet), playing at Clarendon and Kelly Parks. Pete then played with the Steamers in an industrial league, ending his 34 year softball career when his sons started playing sports and he became a spectator. Although he was primarily a third baseman, Pete played nearly all positions except pitcher, finishing his career playing left field. He was a prolific hitter who normally hit in the middle of the lineup. He contributed over 800 homeruns and 4, 000 plus RBIs to the run totals of his teams. For his efforts, he was selected to All Star Teams at leagues in Chicago and Kedzie, Cicero, Berwyn, and Summit. He and his wife, Jennie, live in Lombard, Illinois. Pete is a retired member of Local 731 and works part-time as bus driver for Willowbrook High School. They have two sons, Peter III and Dan, and eight grandchildren.