Thomas “Durke” Curran

Thomas J. Curran was born and raised at 46th and Union in the Canaryville neighborhood of Chicago. He attended Tilden Technical High School where he was a member of the basketball team that captured the 1946 City championship. He got his start in 16″ softball playing with the Gaels Athletic Club, winning the 1944 and 1946 championships at Fuller Park and taking second place in 1946 at Ogden Park. In 1947 and 1948 Tom Curran played with the Collins “700” Club and the Madonna Knights of Columbus. In 1949 and ’50 he played with the S.S. Bobcats, the predecessors of the legendary Zolna Bobcats. They won the Back of the Yards title in 1949. He took a short break from softball when he entered the Army in 1951 and served in Korea with the 2nd Infantry Division. For his time in Korea, Thomas Curran was awarded the Bronze Star and the Korean Service Medal with three battle stars. After his discharge from the service, he played for the Daley-Hamburgs (the future mayor was Chicago city clerk at this time) and the Madonna Knights of Columbus before retiring from softball in 1953 due to family commitments. Players from the Pioneer era remember Tom Curran as one of the top pitchers of his time. He is one of the first to use the hesitation pitch and perfected the pickoff play to second base. As a hitter he normally batted sixth and favored line drives to right center field. He was a Chicago police officer for thirtythree years (retired in 1988) and is now a Cook County Sheriffs Deputy assigned to 26th and California. He and his wife, Barbara Ann have four children, Dr. Mary Jo, Barbara Ann, Tommy and Kevin (deceased). They live in Orland Park, Illinois.