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  WINDY CITY TIMES

Cubs Pitch for Sue Marohn
2003-04-30

This article shared 4638 times since Wed Apr 30, 2003
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With a little help from her friends, lesbian cancer survivor Sue Marohn realized a lifelong dream last week. The pitch was high and outside, but it crossed the plate with no help from the ground—she threw the opening pitch at the April 24 Cubs home game.

'It was awesome,' Marohn said afterwards. 'It was cool being down on the field, but it was more the support of my family and friends that made it special.'

She had more than 55 people gathered in her box suite, plus more than a dozen in other seats, including some carrying a huge sign for her in the bleachers. Her friend Chris DePaepe organized the suite, after Cindi Williams played 'six degrees of separation' around the country to get her friend a chance to throw from Wrigley Field's world-famous pitcher's mound.

Marohn is no stranger to the pitcher's mound, having been part of three teams which won the Gay World Series competitive women's softball championships—Synergy in 1989 and 1990, and then as part of Finale in 1994. She and her Chicago colleagues did the Windy City proud, and Marohn and teammates Marie Kurby and Joanie McElligott were inducted into the North American Gay Amateur Athletic Alliance (NAGAAA) Gay Softball Hall of Fame.

This trip to the Cubs' pitcher's mound was made special for Marohn because she has been battling cancer since 1998. The cancer returned in 2001, and she has been on chemotherapy ever since, said her partner, Julie Colwell.

'I have been very fortunate to have friends who want to do things for me,' Marohn said. 'When I was first diagnosed, Jim Flint and my close friends put on a fundraiser that raised $10,000 to help with treatment, lost wages, etc.'

Marohn is the program manager in suburban Lake Forest's Recreation Department, where she has been for 14 years—but she only recently came out as a lesbian to her boss. He has been very supportive.

'Cancer sucks,' Marohn is quick to state. 'But by the same token, [there are] things you learn from it through friendships and opportunities.'

So last week, those family and friends gathered together for Marohn, more than 80 strong, to see her get her wish. She joined four men to throw out that pitch. They offered them the chance to throw in front of the distant pitcher's mound. But Marohn was first, and she's no slacker. She went to the mound. While it was high and outside, it did not bounce—unlike the pitches of some of the men who followed.

Marohn's impact on Chicago and national gay softball has been clear. The Synergy and Finale victories were the only ones for Chicago competitive women softballers at NAGAAA since the division started in 1985. A Recreational women's team, Mud Hens, won in 1994—making for a double Chicago win that year. No Chicago-based women's teams have won the Gay World Series since.

Marohn and her partner Julie Colwell started dating just before the 1994 Gay World Series—Colwell, who is nominated for the Gay Softball Hall of Fame this year, pitched for the winning Mud Hens team, while Marohn was the Finale winning pitcher.

A true lesbian softball love story.


This article shared 4638 times since Wed Apr 30, 2003
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