Pete Schmit

Pete Schmit holds an interesting first in the annals of high school football; he’s the first football player from St. George High School to be selected to an All-State football team. During the 1939-40 season, he and two other players from Mt. Carmel High School were the only players from the Chicago area to be named to the Champaign News-Gazette All Star Team. His football talents paid off as Pete Schmit earned a football scholarship to the University of Iowa, graduating in 1943. Pete served his country in World War II in France and Germany with Patton’s Third Armored Division. After the war, Schmit returned to coach football and basketball at St. George from 1948 to 1961. He then moved to St. Patrick High School, serving twenty five years as Athletic Director. Pete finished his teaching career after six years at Immaculate Conception High School. Before and after the war, Schmit played softball at Thillens and Welles Park in pot games that often offered over five hundred dollars in prize money. Eventually, Pete quit softball playing and took up umpiring to help with the bills of his young family. He began by umpiring games at Welles Park in 1951 with the Brown Bombers, a team that boasted Harlem Globetrotters on its roster. During one of those games, power hitter Sweetwater Clifton hit the longest home run Schmit had ever seen. In 1953 Schmit became Chief Umpire, eventually controlling some eighty umpires at thirty different throughout his career. He also worked and assigned umpires in the Windy City Softball Classic League. Later, he began umpiring baseball and fast pitch softball games, extending his umpiring career to nearly fifty years. In 2001, Pete and his wife Jean lived in Chicago. They have six children and sixteen grandchildren.