Jim Fitzpatrick – local Bay Area boy hailing from San Francisco, California is an icon and roller derby legend! Not JUST General Manager of the world famous, San Francisco Bay Bombers- but what you might not know, is Jim Fitzpatrick himself has been skating pro banked track since the 1980‘s! Jim Fitzpatrick, now a retired San Francisco firefighter! The guy to know- In fact- he seems to know everyone… everywhere!
Jim Fitzpatrick discovered roller derby on television. He will never forget – because it was cold day in 1968 – the day of Senator Robert Kennedy’s funeral. America was heartbroken and all of the local broadcast stations were carrying funeral coverage except for KTVU channel two. Channel two was airing pro banked track roller derby. As a young kid, Jim was taking a break from the political coverage when roller derby – not the last, but for the first – time, hit him Jim the face! Fitzpatrick was immediately captivated by the amazing sport! Watching roller derby sensations like, Joan Weston, Tony Roman, Charlie O’ and Cliff Butler immediately drew him in!
A little over a decade later, local boy does good! Jim Fitzpatrick found himself drafted by the world famous San Francisco Bay Bombers! With the International Rolle Skating League. Jim Fitzpatrick often reflects on one of his greatest accomplishment in derby… making the team in 1980! That very summer, Jim found himself traveling out – of – the – country, accompanying the IRSD League ! With fellow team mates, he skated an altered version of roller derby which combined roller derby rules with those of roller ball rules and was called, “Roller Super-ball.” This series was held in the Luna Park Arena in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
As time rolled onto Jim’s eight wheels, he continued to make more amazing roller derby history! Fitzpatrick is proud to hail he also skated for Team USA in 1993, and the same season he received the prestigious “Skater Choice Award!” He also cites becoming the General Manager for his Alma Mater team in 2007, well…. ” is just over the rail!”
A tough sport – following a number of shoulder separations, Jim Fitzpatrick decided to became a referee! In 1987, he performed Roller Derby stunt skating in an MTV-aired music video for the song “Love Is Not a Game” by McAuley Schenker Group. He returned to his first love, skating in 1993, and again – found himself competing for Team USA in the Roller Game World Cup, held in Tokyo, Japan.
Jim Fitzpatrick, also an amazing photographer- started out photographing old time wrestling at the world famous Cow Palace in San Francisco , Ca. Jim has an amazing collection of photos and in 2005 decided to share his up-close and personal memories by publishing a few books- one, a photo collection focused primarily on roller derby – through Trafford Publishing- forward by the great Ann Calvello! You can pick up a copy for yourself on e-bay straight from Jim ( don’t forget to ask him to sign it) ! Late in 2014 Jim made artist of the year and is featured in, Art Tour International Magazine.
Continually adding to his skating curricular vitae- In 2006 he became general manager for the famous Pioneers and in 2007 he found himself as general manager for Los Angeles FireBirds while “Acting General Manager” for the San Francisco Bay Bombers. Finally, a full time position opened up – Jim, happy to be where his roots began -took the full time GM spot and today, continues the general manager legacy of his home town team!
In 2008 – Jim Fitzpatrick was voted and ranked #2 on the top 10 males’ list – for movers and shakers in edition of, “XR News” – Roller Skating Magazine. And the following year later, he appeared in a roller derby documentary, called, “Rolling Thunder!” Jim, iconically set, is forever in- “The Roller Derby Chronicles”, a three-disc DVD set. Among many , Fitzpatrick also appeared in broadcast – ABC Channel seven’s “Beyond the Headlines” with the famous Bay Area journalist, Cheryl Jennings.
Recently, giving back to the local Bay Area sports community he came from 2011, Jim connected with football Hall- of -Famer, Dick Butkus to lend support to,“ The Foundation for Steroid Education” assisting in a campaign called, “I Play Clean.” This non-profit campaign, founded by Butkus, focuses on the very real issue of steroid use among high school athletes.
Jim joined ARSD since conception- a league that would support and bring the old school style game back! He has successfully brought his knowledge to assist league owner, Dan Ferrari in the re-development of a legendary American sport he loves! You can find Fitzpatrick in the eye of the storm- the center of the banked… grooming his new bloodline – and supporting the strong skating vets. Jim is always available on and off the track!
Look for his signature wide brimmed hat! He can move fast – so keep your eye on the prize and don’t let this historian getaway! Collectors and autograph seekers- get to the track early – and make him give you his autograph twice- just in case! Don’t forget to ask him to tell you a good ol’ roller derby story- you will thank us for this advice later- we just know it!!