PAT SULLIVAN, A FASTBALL ACHIEVER,
ON THE FIELD AND OFF
(An International Softball Congress Hall of Fame biography)
When I.S.C. Founder Carrol Forbes chose Pat Sullivan, a young catcher from Dubuque, Iowa, to fill the position of Commissioner for the Iowa Area almost a quarter century ago, he got not only an able player with the necessary skills to become an administrator, he also got a man whose talents have spanned the waterfronts of skills, achievements - - - - and time.
That sounds like a tall order for anyone to measure up to, but for the energetic Sullivan that sort of pace is just simply how it has been throughout his life.
And Sullivan has picked up the Hall of Fame credentials to testify to those lofty achievements!
His induction in 1993 into the International Softball Congress Hall of Fame only added to the accolades which his career in the sport has earned him.
Prior to his recognition by the I.S.C., Sullivan had already been inducted into the Dubuque Fastpitch Softball Hall of Fame (1985) and the Iowa Fastpitch Hall of Fame (1992).
And he took no shortcuts in reaching these mighty plateaus.
Gifted with a rare combination of brains and athletic talent, Pat Sullivan burst on the sports scene in his native East Dubuque earning athletic honors in all the major sports. (Honestly, he opened his senior season in basketball with a 56 point outburst!!!) On the academic side, young Patrick Sullivan was valedictorian of his high school class.
Following one year in college (where he had a basketball scholarship) Sullivan spent two years in the U.S. Army. It was during this time that he discovered the game of fastpitch softball. Beginning in 1963 as a catcher with Arenz Shoes of Dubuque, Sullivan played for many strong teams from his home area over the years. He made his debut in the ISC World Tournament in 1965 with Lange's Insurance. This was the first of an even dozen seasons in which Sullivan and his teammates played in the ISC World Tournament. A highlight of that span of seasons came in 1969 when he was selected to the ISC All-World Tournament team as a catcher for Kopper-Schrader Ford of Dubuque. He played on 11 ISC Iowa Area Championship teams, and in 1977 he was voted the Most Valuable Player in the ISC Iowa Area Tournament.
After assuming his Commissioner position in 1979 (a position he currently holds) Sullivan excelled in attracting many teams to his Area tournament each season, having as many as 32 teams in competition. His Area tournaments annually are the largest in number of teams competing among such tournaments in the ISC.
Sullivan is quick to point to the strong support which he has received from his wife Judy and his sons, "It just would never have been possible without the sacrifices made by Judy and the boys." Noting that such support may be the exception and not the rule, Sullivan says, "There have been a lot of conflicts and broken marriages (over softball participation) but I have been very fortunate."
Nor has fastball been the only activity to consume much of Sullivan's time. For many years, he also served as a high school basketball referee in the "off" season!
After 41 years in the game, 16 as a player and the past 25 as an administrator - - with 14 of those years spent on the ISC Executive Committee when he served as the organization's Northern Vice-President - - Sullivan is still raring to go. An active member of the ISC Board of Directors, a potent administrative force in Iowa fastball, and a very "young" 60, the talents and leadership of Pat Sullivan will be in ready evidence within the sport and within the International Softball Congress for many years to come.
August 26, 2003
By: Gordon L. Wise - - - ISC Information Officer