On Baseball Day in Mount Prospect, when all three fields at Meadows Park featured All-Star games, the action paused mid-innings, to honor longtime coach, commissioner and legend, Vic Rose.

Members of last year’s U-14 Patriot team came to honor their coach.

“Baseball was his true passion,” said Athletics Manager Brad Wessel. “He spent hours in the Lions Round House going through equipment. He was one of a kind and I will never forget him.”

Rose, who never married, had given more than 50 years to the Mount Prospect Park District and its baseball program — and nearly as many to prep basketball teams — passed away June 4. He was 82.

After a moment of silence for Rose during Saturday’s games, the athletic commissioners dedicated Meadows Field No. 1 as the Vic Rose Field. They presented a plaque to Rose’s nephew, Mike Donatucci, himself a coaching legend, leading the Fremd High School Vikings football program for 19 years before retiring in 2012. He then was inducted into the Illinois High School Football Coaches’ Association Hall of Fame.

Mike Donatucci accepts the dedication plaque.

“He was self-taught,” Donatucci said of his uncle, “but he loved the game and studied film for hours.”

Young baseball players and their families stood to honor Rose, including those on the last team he coached, the U-14 Mount Prospect Patriot team, just last year.

Park district officials confirmed that he started coaching as young as 14, when he helped out with a team. He would go on to serve as a coach, manager, umpire, groundskeeper and mentor. He also was involved with little league baseball, midget football, pony league baseball and several other school and park district programs, as well as serving as a Park District Commissioner for 12 years.

Rose coached basketball at St. Raymond School for eight years before he was asked to become the Athletic Director and basketball coach at St. Emily’s. He accepted the role in 1974 and spent the next 34 years building the program. In 2008,  St. Emily honored Rose by naming the newly refurbished gym after him.

Vic Rose

Rose also served as the longtime commissioner of the Northwest Catholic Conference, from about 1975-2013, its board members said. The conference includes Catholic elementary schools in Cook and Lake counties.

Under his leadership, the conference grew from eight schools to a maximum of 16, and from one sport (boys’ basketball) to seven sports offered by the conference. The conference now includes boys and girls in volleyball, cross country, basketball and track and field, as well as girls’ softball.
Their athletic directors credited Rose with running a well-organized and balanced conference, with highly anticipated end-of-the-season tournaments. Upon reflection, they all agreed, that for Rose, “it was all about the kids.”



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