Hall of Fame Inductees
All Inductees By Name
Terrell Jackson / Inducted 1997 Pioneers 1887-1949
Terrell Jackson attended Smyth Elementary School and Crane High School in Chicago. He started his illustrious softball career in 1947 at Stanford Park at 14th and Union Avenue. Jackson made an impression as a tough ball player at the young age of twelve because every year he was selected to the Stanford Park All-Star Team that played against teams of different age levels from other parks in Chicago. Jackson's years at Stanford Park prepared him to play with more competitive teams. First, Jackson played for a few years with the Dexters. After graduating from Crane High School in 1952, he played with the Westside Dodgers, a team that he had admired throughout his childhood. While a member of the Dodgers, Terrell had the opportunity to play with and learn from such great athletes as James "Big Zeke" Ireland, Bob Joyce, Leon Edwards, James "Killer" Cain, Sully Palmer, Perry Minniefield, Linwood "Woody" McCrary and William Clark. The Dodgers played all the top teams at Fosco Park and Franklin Park. Jackson played in all the major tournaments and big money games. One of these tournaments was sponsored by Daddie 0'Daylie's Fund League. Jackson retired from league softball in 1972 and remembers the pleasure of playing with some of the greatest softball players of all time.
Joseph “Jake” Jakobi / Inducted 1996 1964-1979 Era
Joseph “Jake” Jakobi
Jake is considered by many experts as the greatest hitter in modern times... and he worked at it. He was picked up as a swift defensive centerfielder by Ed Zolna and he batted the hard hitter 9th in the lineup. In the ‘64 Nationals he switched outfield positions at times with Willie Simpson to take advantage of his defensive skills. He then worked on getting hits between third and short and eventually perfected the art of “dump hitting” created by Bobbie Lamont. He won the batting in the 1976 Windy City League with an unbelievable .714 ba. This was no fluke, the right hander had a similar average in the Daddie O’Daylie League in the early 60’s. Jake played with the Bobcats, Dwarfs, Monsters, Whips, and others. Played in seven ASA National Finals and won six. He was MYP and batting champion of the 1970 ASA National Tournament. He is best remembered as a stoic short-center for Bobcat and Monster teams, leading off and setting the table for the big hitters. Has been a hitting coach on the 3 ASA National Champion Lettuce teams over the past few years. Also played 12” ball professionally and lead the league for most of the season with his funny looking swing to non-Chicagoans. Jake has 2 daughters. Born in 1943.
Danny Jalowiec / Inducted 2014 1993-Current
Dan Jalowiec started playing softball in 1985 at Clyde Park in Cicero with some friends from Morton East High School when he was seventeen. After playing in the 18-and-under League at Clyde Park, he joined his father Jim, a member of the legendary Sobies in the early ‘70s, his brother Jeff, and several cousins and friends to play for the D. White Stars at Clyde Park and Hawthorne Park. He played over one hundred games a year for fifteen years. While in his twenties, Dan often played part time on other park district teams – the X-Men and the Pandas. He played shortstop his first few years before moving to his primary position at second base in 1989. In 1989 he joined the Gamblers, an established “A” team that was on the brink of competing in the more competitive “A” leagues at Clyde and Kelly Parks. After taking third in his first ASA “A” Nationals in 1989, his love for the game jumped to a new level. In 1990 the Gamblers won the ASA “A” Nationals title and Dan won the batting title and was named tournament MVP. The Gamblers continued competing at a high level in the “A” leagues at Kelly, Clyde, Berwyn, and Hodgkins, winning several league titles and small tournament championships. During Dan’s time with the Gamblers / Lucianos (from 1989 to 1997), they won two Hawthorne Miller Lite tournament titles (1991 and 1996), they won the USSSA World Tournament in 1992, took second in the 1997 Forest Park No Glove Nationals, and won the 1996 TV Pro League, where Dan was named league MVP. Dan played for the Rockers in 1998 1999. He helped them win the 1998 Forest Park No Glove Nationals. They surprised many in the softball world by beating Lettuce, the 45s, and Puglise on Sunday to claim the title. He played for Sage in Mt. Prospect in 2000. In 2001, he joined the 45s where he experienced some of his greatest team accomplishments. He played second base for them for nine years and enjoyed playing for two great managers / coaches, eight players who would become Hall of Fame members, and several more great players who are potential HOF inductees. In 2001, the 45s began a string of victories that would include eight Mt. Prospect Classic League championships and seven Hodgkins / Westchester league championships.
Additionally, they won four North / South Tournament titles, three Westchester Tournament championships, four Chicagoland Classic titles, and four ASA State Tournament championships. Undoubtedly the 45s successes in the top two major tournaments were some of the most rewarding for Dan. The won their first ASA Major title in 2001. They then went on the win six total ASA Major titles, including five straight from 2003 – 2007. He also enjoyed special moments in winning seven Forest park No Glove Nationals with the 45s (2001, 2003-04, 2006 -09). In the 2009 championship game, Dan came to bat in the bottom of the eighth with two outs and the bases loaded. He hit a cut-single down the left field line to score the game-winning run and give the 45s their final Forest Park championship. Besides the great team successes with the 45s, Dan also achieved many individual honors. How was and ASA 1st Team All American six times and was a 2nd Team All American twice. In 2005 he was named MVP of the Westchester Tournament. Dan ended his career with Nutz after the 45s disbanded after the 2010 season. Dan was recognized early in his career for having strong power for his size to straight away left field. This led to many homeruns because left fielders often did not respect his strength, so Dan simply hit the ball over their heads. In the early ‘90s, he improved his hitting skills by learning to cut the ball to left field and push the ball to right field. His defensive skills at second base more than matched his offensive skills. He often stole a single from hitter because of his defensive range. After twenty-five years of playing softball, Dan thanks his Lord Jesus Christ for all of his blessings, including the great opportunities he has had meeting a lot of teammates, opponents, and friends. He also thanks his loving wife and children, and his supportive mother, brother, sister, friends, and teammates for all of his successes. He gives most credit to his father for introducing him to the great game of sixteen-inch softball at a young age and for teaching him to “think the game”, not just to play it. Dam and his wife, Jill, have two children: Jimmy and Tommy. They live in Roselle, Illinois.
Veto “Vic” Jasaitis / Inducted 2000 1950-1963 Era
Veto “Vic” Jasaitis
Born in 1929, Veto "Vic" Jasaitis has played with some landmark teams during his sixteen year softball career. As a left fielder, shortstop, and a pitcher, he has helped his teams capture twelve championships including; Fewer Boilers and Midland Motors (two chapionships), Bill Bonnetts (six championships), Diaper Gange (one championship), Bill Rose's (one championship), and a team at Chicago and Kedzie that took two championships. With a lifetime batting average of 650, Jasaitis was the homerun leader at the Northtown League for two years, and ended his career with over 1,000 homeruns. He also received league MVP honors when he was playing with Midland Motors in the Windy City League. As a pitcher, he accumulated a 30 and 2 record. Softball historians remember three "tape measure homeruns" hit by Jasaitis; one onto the tennis court 375 feet away at Davis Square Park, another shot that cleared the tree and landed in a children's swimming pool at Cornell Park, and one that hit the center field scoreboard, 365 feet away at Northtown while playing with Midland Motors. In 2000, "Vic" had two daughters and lived in Worth, Illinois. Passed away in 2005.
Donald Jens / Inducted 2002 Media & Organizers
For millions of Chicagoans, the last weekend of July means one thing - a trip to Chicago's lakefront to witness the thunder and majesty of the Chicago Air and Water Show. From water-craft demonstrations to precision flying teams to the power and daring of the Blue Angels, Chicaoans owe a debt of gratitude to the late Don Jens. A former Chicago Park District supervisor, Don Jens worked out of an office at Lake Shore Park and was instrumental in expanding the Air and Water Show from a small gyn event in 1958 to the world-class event it is today. Softball players, however, remember Don Jens as one of the founders of the Windy City Softball League, one of the premier leagues in the history of 16-inch softball and, along with his uncle, Harry Weiner, introduced the Clincher as softball's official ball. Additionally, Jens was also an outstanding short-center fielder who played many games at Thillens Stadium. Don Jens grew up on the West-side of Chicago and graduated from Tuley High School. He served in the Army Medical Corps during World War II. He passed away in 2008 and is survived by his his two sons, two grandchildren and his longtime companion, Cindy LeBeau.
Charles Jensen / Inducted 2000 Media & Organizers
This marks Charles Jensen's second Hall of Fame induction. In 1977 Jensen was inducted posthumously into the ASA National Hall of Fame for his long and meritorious service to that organization. The Chicago native's softball and baseball umpiring career spanned thirty years. He was the ASA national umpire-in-chief from 1940 to '48, after serving as an assistant from 1933 through '39. He then served as the National Fastball League Commissioner from 1946 through '50, and was the Chicago ASA Commissioner from 1951 until his death at age 64 in 1969. Besides serving in local and national umpiring positions, he was a member of the International Joint Rules Committee on Softball. Charles Jensen was a retired engineer with Illinois Bell.
Billy “Sweet” Johnson / Inducted 1998 1964-1979 Era
Billy “Sweet” Johnson
With the nickname of “Sweet” this right-handed hitter was considered to be the greatest all-around black softball player of all time. A right handed hitter who played most of his great years with the Flamingos, Johnson was a lightning fast 225 pound ball player with an arm like a rocket launcher but with a fine touch to turn an inning ending double-play. Johnson’s 16-inch career began at the age of 11 with the Princeton Pirates, the “farm team” of the Flamingos. He credits the Pirates and the Flamingos with getting him off the tough streets of Chicago’s Southside. In 1974 Johnson won the ASA National batting title and was selected to the Ist Team All-American team, hitting over .600 in Dalton, GA while leading his team to a third place finish. Johnson continued his dominance of Chicago softball when he was selected as the Windy City All-Star 2nd baseman, hitting .533, which was the fifth best average in the league. After a series of knee injuries caused by collisions with teammates in the outfield, Johnson switched from being a power hitter to being a more complete hitter who could “hit smart”, a talent gained from observing some of the top players in the top leagues of the city and suburbs. “Sweetman” Johnson graduated from DuSable High School and Wilson Junior College where he played football and basketball. Billy lives in Chicago.
Jack Johnson / Inducted 2001 1964-1979 Era
Like many men his age, Jack "Whitey" Johnson's softball career began after a two year stint in the Army. Unlike many players, however, he started his softball career after playing with the Chicago White Sox in 1959, and with the old Washington Senators in 1960. A softball second baseman who also played third and first, Jack had a lifetime batting average near .700 and hit over a thousand home runs. His batting and fielding skills helped several teams win tournament, league and national titles. He helped Butch McGuires win 25 tournaments and 8 league championships at Ridge, Kelly and Clarendon Parks, and helped Aurelio's win 10 championships. He captured the 1967 National title with the Sobies, then won the next two National championships in 1968 and '69 with the Bobcats. Jack Johnson spent 33 years as a member of the Chicago Police Department, and is currently a member of the Cook County Sherriff Department. He lives in Tinley Park with his wife, Joanne. They have four children; George, David, Jack and Julie.
Warren “Holmes” Johnson / Inducted 2012 1964-1979 Era
Warren “Holmes” Johnson
A fierce competitor, Warren Johnson always played to win. He was an inspiration to his teammates because of the way he played the game. He earned citywide respect for his play and was a major force on the teams he played for, but his loyalty dictated that he would always play with his friends. He would play for the Gas Company in an industrial league, drive to Portage Park for a second game, head over to Clarendon Park for another game, and end his night with a 9:30 game at James Park as a member of the Rollers. Warren and the Rollers won the City Championship at Clarendon Park and the North Shore Tournament, all on the same day. He also played for Murders Row, the Levee, and the Bobcats and won many city and state titles with them He was Co-MVP at the Lacrosse Wisconsin Tournament in 1984 and was a member of three National Championship teams - once with Sportstation, and twice with Licorice. On the bases, he could turn a single into a triple with his excellent speed. He won numerous park championships and tournaments while playing with Hall of Famers Willie Simpson, Al Cech, Tom "Eggs" Czarnik. He ended his playing days in 2002 as a member of the Licorice team that won the National Championship.
Ray Johnson / Inducted 2014 1964-1979 Era
Raymond Johnson began his softball career with the Flamingoes in 1961 when he was fifteen. He played third base with them in the Daddy- O-Daylie League at Meyerling Park, under the tutelage of John Wolf-Wilson. Besides finding great success in this league, the Flamingoes also finished in the top three in the Sixteen-inch World Series in Sheboygan, Wisconsin in 1969. The Flamingoes also played in the Industrial League as the Coca Cola Flamingoes. They won the league championship at Grant Park from 1966 to 1970. Ray left the Flamingoes in 1970 to form the Senators in 1971. This team featured Hall of Fame players Jessie Mack, Henry Kemp, Riccardo Ligon (aka Rick Monday), Willie Kemp, and Henry Currie. They were coached by Hall of Fame manager Floyd Glover. The Senators (sponsored by Alderman Wilson Frost) played in leagues at Kelly Park, Blue Island, Clarendon Park, Mount Prospect, and in the Windy City League. They battled such legendary teams as the Bobcats and Eddie Zolna (HOF), the Sobies and Tony Reibel (HOF), and the Strikers and Mike Tallo (HOF). They were also known as the Kuppenheimer Senators. They won the Industrial Metro Tournament in 1975 and earned a trip to Marshalltown, Iowa.
The rivalry between the Flamingoes and the Senators was always a highly anticipated rivalry, drawing over a thousand fans. Ray left the Senators in 1983 to form the Bandits. In 1985 they won the Metro Tournament and qualified for the World Series In Marshalltown, Iowa in 1985. Ray played all infield positions as well as catcher. He was MVP of the Sunday Cocktail League and the 75th and Jeffery League. He also was selected as the MVP of the Flamingoes, Senators, and Bandits. Ray ended his playing career at the end of 1985 and began umpiring in 1986. In 2008 he was inducted into the NSA Hall of Fame as an umpire. He is currently on the Hall of Fame committee for the NSA and is an assignor for the Chicago Public Schools and USSSA / UIC. Ray has been married twice. He has five children – Letitia, LaTonya, La Shawn, Andrew III, and Raymond II. He is a grandfather of fourteen and a great – great grandfather of ten. He retired from Met-Life Insurance after a thirty-five year career as Manager of the Financial Planning Division. He currently lives in Alsip, Illinois.
Clayton Jones / Inducted 2007 1980's & 1990's Era
Clayton Jones, one of softball’s premier shortstops, played with the Safari Tigers during the 1980s and with the Be- Athletes into the ‘90s. As a three-time All-American selection in 1985 and 1986 and again in 1995, Clayton’s excellence at shortstop excited fans for over twenty years. Playing with La La Washington (HOF) and Stretch Lee (HOF), Clayton rounded out one of the strongest infields playing during their era. His exciting plays during the 1985 and 1986 ASA Nationals helped the Tigers to advance into the finals, narrowly missing winning back-to-back titles. Besides his excellent defensive skills, Clayton helped the Tigers and the BE-Athletes with his ability to hit consistently with power and accuracy. With his great speed added into the mix, Clayton was truly a fully rounded athlete who earned the respect of his teammates and competitors alike. He and his wife, Neola, live in Chicago.
Drake Jones / Inducted 2014
Drake Jones started playing serious softball with the Mau Maus when he was eighteen years old and met Stanley Brown while working at the Post Office. They played in the Post Office League, at Washington Park, and in tournaments throughout the city. During one of those tournaments, they played against the legendary Flamingos. Drake hit four homeruns off their top pitcher, Percy “Bobo” Coleman, and hunted down every ball they hit to him the outfield. Unfortunately, they lost that game but after the game, Percy Coleman asked him to join the Flamingos. Coleman promised him that they would play the best teams in the best parks and would be the best-dressed team in any tournament. They played in Prescott, Arizona, Sioux Falls, South Dakota and Marshalltown, Iowa. Locally they played in the top parks in Chicago and the suburbs. One of his favorite memories is playing in the first Black World Series at Comiskey Park. The tournament featured over forty teams, was witnessed by 5,000 fans, and was reported by the Chicago Defender newspaper. Other memories include beating the hometown favorite in Marshalltown, Iowa and winning in South Dakota by hitting five back-to-back homeruns in the seventh inning to clinch the victory in front of hundreds of screaming fans. During this period, Drake was working, raising a family and playing basketball, but softball was becoming his passion. The Flamingos won so many local league championships that they were barred from the popular South Side Cocktail League.
Even though they were shutout in local competition, they gained a lot of attention in “major” softball and began playing more white teams. They started out against The Zolna Bobcats but were soon playing Coopers, the Dwarfs, the Sobies, Miller Taggers, and the Eastsiders. And white teams began playing more black teams, including the Unknown Wild Bunch, Outcasts, Safari Tigers, and Mark Thompson’s Bobcats. In the late 1970s, Percy Coleman diversified the Flamingos when he recruited Tom Bonen (HOF), Wayne Jawerski, and Al Scroupa. Drake played outfield, fist base, and catcher. He earned “super star” status because of his offensive and defensive talents. Drake consistently hit over .500 and could throw runners out at all bases from left field with his “rifle” arm. He was selected to ten major league all-star teams, received eight Golden Hands awards for his defense, and was named an MVP on ten teams. He was recognized as the greatest Flamingo outfielder with no other player coming close to his talents. He often ate ice cream and drank pop while chasing balls down. Sometimes he even caught some behind his back. For over fifteen years, Drake had a front row seat to sixteen-inch softball history. He witnessed super teams playing with great players and being managed by super managers. His memories go on-and-on, not just with the Flamingos, but also with the Mau Maus, Flashes, the Senators, L.A. Posse, the Gladiators, and Third Rail, his CTA team. Drake and his wife, Bernice, live on Chicago’s South Side. They have seven children: Drake, Jr, Chernise, Joshua, Solomon, Jamal, Jemel, and Jessica.
Lowell “Yogi” Junior / Inducted 2012 1964-1979 Era
Lowell “Yogi” Junior
Lowell Junior played softball for sixty-one years. He grew up in the Altgeld Gardens and is one of the greatest baseball players to emerge from there. He began playing softball at Carver Park. His friend Maurice gave him the nickname "Yogi" because he said he reminded him of Yogi Berra of the Yankees. He played in the Tavern Leagues with sponsors like Louise's Lounge on 37th and Wentworth, Tiger Lounge, located east on 79th Street, and the Apartment Lounge. He played in the legendary Daddy O'Daylie Leagues on Chicago's South side. He played for the Chicagoans at Carver Park, the Flamingoes at Fuller Park, and the Iron Men at 37th and King Drive. He also played at Washington, Princeton, Tuley, Douglas, Cole, and Grant Parks. He was a Nat King Cole All-Star. The team was a compilation of such top Chicago softball players as Sweetwater Clifton (HOF), Dan Dumas (HOF), Bobby Blackstone (HOF), Charles Bell, Bill Reid, and Loyal Bratton. They played mostly night games at 72st and King Drive. Lowell played all positions and retired with a batting average over .400. He hit fifty homeruns and drove in 420 runs. He retired from the Chicago Housing Authority in 1992. Yogi and his wife, Semarian, have four children: Derrick, Keith, Steven, and Diane
Tom Jurevis / Inducted 2002 1980's & 1990's Era
Tom Jurevis grew up near the southwest side of Chicago in Stickney. He won his first league championship at age 16, and by age 25, he had played for such top teams as the Shooting Stars, Magnum, Crush, the Outsiders and Touch. In 1983 he played on eight league champions, including the Kelly "A" and Normandy Park leagues with Touch. In 1984, Touch combined with the Bobcats. While playing with the "Touch Cats", Jurevis won the MVP award of the Cicero tournament, despite his team not winning the title. Tom made just one out in six games. They went on to win the 1984 and '85 Chicago City Championships, as well as two Grant Park Open titles. In 1985 Jurevis was named starting short center on a dream team roster in their "Kings of 16" Softball" article. That same year Touch won the ASA Major 16" Nationals, and Jurevis was a first team All American. Touch finished in the top four twice more, and Tom was first team All American again in 1988. He also earned All American honors with the National runner-up, Crush team at the USSSA World. A student of the game, Jurevis carefully observed other teams when not playing, noting their strengths and tendencies. He was also a true team player who believed you got recognition as an individual because of what your team did. True to that philosophy, he believes that his induction into the Hall of Fame is a tribute to the excellent players on all his old teams. Jurevis is grateful to Bill Frencl for showing him how the game is played, to Tom and Ed Gregoire for moving him to short center, and to Dave Neligan for making the Touch team what it was and giving him a chance to play "with and against the best." Tom currently plays with the Out of Touch Over 40 team in LaGrange. He lives in Chicago with his wife, Sue, and two daughters, Jessica and Rebecca who he encourages in all sports, coaching them whenever he can.