Coach Joe W. Slobko “Mister Baseball” died Tuesday, May 5, 2020 at his home in Garden City, Kansas. He was born August 11, 1936 in Oak Creek, Colorado the son of Frank Slobko, Jr. and Wanda (Miles) Slobko.
After high school, Coach Slobko attended and graduated in 1959 from Colorado State College in Greeley, Colorado where he earned a Bachelors Degree in Physical Education. He then served in the United States Army from October 1959 to August 1961 during the Korean War. He then attended and graduated in 1966 from Western State College in Gunnison, Colorado earning a Master of Arts Degree. Coach Slobko began his teaching carrier in Las Animas, Colorado where he taught and coached baseball from 1963 to 1975. He taught Psychology, Senior Social Studies, Typing, World History, Civics, Physical Education, Family Recreation, and General Business. In 1975, he moved to Garden City, Kansas where he served as a Professor and baseball coach at Garden City Community College until his retirement in 1997. While at Garden City Community College, Coach Slobko taught General Psychology, Abnormal Psychology, Human Relations, Fundamentals of Baseball, Physical Education-Baseball, and served as Chairman of the Psychology Department.
Throughout his college coaching carrier, Coach Slobko’s teams have placed first or second, thirteen times in the Western Sub-Regional Tournament. He was also named Region II Coach of the year three times. His entire coaching carrier consists of many honors which includes being selected by the Colorado Coaches Association as the Class AA Coach of the Year in 1969, 1972, & 1973; Selected by the Colorado Coaches Association as Colorado’s Baseball Coach of the Year in 1974; Selected by the National High School Athletic Coaches Association as District 6 Baseball Coach of the Year in 1974; Worked as an Associate Scout with the Kansas City Royals and the Cincinnati Reds; Articles published in the Coach’s Clinic Magazine and Juco Review; Sixteen players have been offered pro contracts in eight years; over 90% of his baseball players have continued their education; Graduates of the GCCC program have played at the University of Arizona, Kansas University, Kansas State University, the University of Arkansas, Texas Christian University, as well as many other colleges. He was a member of Tau Kappa Epsilon Fraternity; was named Who’s Who among College Professors; was inducted into the Broncbuster Hall of Fame in 2004; and inducted into the Kansas Hall of Fame in 2017. Upon his retirement in 1997, he finished his baseball coaching carrier at GCCC with a 782-358 record. Coach Slobko’s baseball jersey and number was also retired shortly after his retirement. Along with loving the sport of baseball, he later enjoyed the game of golf.
Survivors include three children Benny Slobko, Mickey Slobko, and Christy Duncan and their families. He is also survived by a sister Brenda Kay.
A private family service will be held at a later date. There will be no calling hours. The family suggests memorials be given to the Broncbuster Athletic Association, or to the Garden City Animal Shelter both in care of Garnand Funeral Home of Garden City.