Walter “Doc” Papierz

Doc Papierz was born on November 14, 1917 in Chicago’s Back of the Yards neighborhood on 43rd Street across from Davis Square. One of ten children, Doc attended Sacred Heart Grammar School and Tilden Branch High School. At that time he started working for the Wilson Stock Yards, a job that lasted from 1941 to 1955 until the company closed its Chicago division. Doc’s connection to softball took a fortunate turn when Ed Zolna’s father got him a job with Chicago’s Streets and Sanitation Department. He worked there for 21 years until his retirement in 1976 at the age of 58. At 18, after a few drinks at the local saloons, he received the nickname of One Shot Doc, which was later shortened to Doc. Doc Papierz played 16″ softball from his early teens until his retirement in his upper 40’s. Besides softball, he also played basketball and bowled until an operation forced him to watch from the sidelines. In answer to that burning softball question of “gloves or no gloves,” Doc remains neutral. He has seen some excellent defensive plays made with gloves. While he claims no favorite player, Doc Papierz does admit to following Eddie Zolna and the Bobcats during their heyday. He and his wife, Jean, have a daughter and a grandson. Doc and Jean will celebrate their 62nd anniversary this January. Doc Papierz truly is a Friend of Softball.