By RON MALY
John Sotak got a lot of mention at our pie-and-coffee session today.
It's Wednesday, so the pie was free at Village Inn.
Retired sportswriters and other media types, of course, always know where and when to get a good deal.
I was a lot younger and so was John Sotak when we both worked in the sports department at the paper.
Sotak was mostly a sports news editor, but he sometimes covered the local ballteam at Sec Taylor Stadium. I think the locals were then known as the Iowa Oaks.
The way I recall it, Sotak was from Chicago, and he liked baseball. I mean, he REALLY liked baseball.
He was a fan of the Chicago White Sox. No Cubs crap for him. Notice in the photo [courtesy of Sotak's Facebook page] that he is wearing a White Sox cap.
Somewhere along the line, Sotak decided being a sports news editor and a baseball writer weren't exactly the things he wanted to do with his life.
So he became a Catholic priest.
Quite a career change.
Indeed, Sotak is the only sportswriter and news editor [or newspaper guy, period] I knew, or know, who became a Catholic priest.
According to Sotak's Facebook page, he is still doing what Catholic priests do. The page says he studied journalism at Drake University, and now is a parish priest at St. TuribiusI in Tulsa, Okla.
However, that information evidently is out of date. Dick Lane, a former member of our pie-and-coffee group in West Des Moines, presently lives in Tulsa and informed me that Sotak is now at a parish in Chicago [see the comments below].
Someone in our group today reminded me that, at some point in his life in Des Moines--before he became a priest--Sotak had a pet sheep.
Consequently, Sotak was also the only sportswriter and news editor I knew, or know, who had a pet sheep.
I have no additional information on that.
Needless to say, John Sotak was an unusual guy.
I guess that's why we spent so much time talking about him this afternoon.
By the way, I had blueberry pie ala mode at Village Inn.
It was sensational,