Team SloPokes

Although they were only together for a few years, the Slo-Pokes made their mark on women’s softball on the North and Northwest sides of Chicago. Like many great teams, they were a compilation of teams that had played against each other. And like other great teams, they had a strong organizer who could spot and recruit the best talent. Pat Pasko (HOF) was the player / coach, financial supporter, and head motivator for the team. She would hand out Slo-Poke suckers after the game to team members who played exceptionally well. The team wore red, white, and blue uniforms to honor America’s bi-centennial in 1976. During that 1976 season, they won three league championships and four single day tournaments, losing only two games that season. The team played at Kosciusko Park, Athletic Field, Wells, Touhy, Hanson, and Clarendon Parks. One player remarked that she ordered so many championship jackets that year that she started ordering them for her sister and other family members. But like all teams, they some day have to say good-bye to one another. Slo-Pokes broke up because some of the older players began to cut back on their playing and some of the younger players went on to play eleven-inch ball. Two former Slo-Poke players, Jan Wilson and Mary Malpede, were inducted into the USSSA Hall of Fame for eleven-inch ball. Mary Kay Schaeffer- Monaghan was inducted into the 16-inch Softball hall of Fame. Many Slo-Poke players continued to give back to the game by becoming teachers and coaches.