Ernest “Ernie” Millsap
Mt. Prospect Park District
Although Al MacFarlane was born in Eugene, Oregon, Chicago softball and sports in general benefitted when his family moved east and settled on Chicago's northwest side. He attended Taft High School from 1957 to 1961, where he played baseball, football and ran track. As a quarterback, halfback and defensive back football proved to be his dominant sport. He was a key member of the 1960 City Championship team, was selected All-City and State in 1958, '59 and '60, was picked as the Sun Times Player of the Year in 1960, and was named All-American the same year. After high school, Al went south to the University of Louisville from 1963 to 1965. Once again he assumed a key role as a halfback, defensive back, punter and kick returner. These efforts earned him 1st Team Missouri Valley All Conference honors in 1965. In addition to these honors, Al was also named Back-of-the-Week three times in the Missouri Valley All Conference. In 1966 he was drafted by the Buffalo Bills and spent the remainder of that year on the reserve team of the Chicago Bears. When his football career was over, Al MacFarlane made the plunge into the restaurant business in 1968. He is the present owner of the Spinters Sports Club, and has been sponsoring 16" softball for 30 years. Al cites two strong memories of his softball career; winning three National titles and being associated with many new friends and tremendous athletes, who are unique talents and true ambassadors of the game.
After a sixteen-inch softball career that spanned four decades, Jesse “Mesack” Mack retired from softball in 2001. He was one of the most respected and one of the most feared leadoff hitters and outfielders in the game. With the game on the line, he was unshakable. It would be hard to find a better player at the plate for a clutch hit or in the field when the team needed a spectacular catch. Jesse began playing organized softball in 1963 with the Budlanders in the Tuley Park League. They won every championship in that league through 1968. In 1969 his excellent play was recognized when he was recruited to play right field for the Flamingoes in the national tournament in Sheboygan, Wisconsin. He stayed with the Flamingoes in the 1970 season and then rejoined them in 1974 for the nationals in Dalton, Georgia. The Flamingoes took third place and Jesse earned All-American honors. In 1971 Jesse joined the Kemp brothers to form the Senators, one of the most powerful black softball teams of the era. During his 15 years with the Senators, he competed against the toughest teams at Washington, Hamilton, Rosenbloom, and Kelly Park leagues and in the Windy City League at Bridgeview. While with the Senators, he played in national tournaments at Waukegan (1971), at Racine, Wisconsin (1972), and at Marshalltown, Iowa (1975) and (1985). Because of his talent and high energy, he also played with the Flashes, Bandits, the Demons, the Dating Game, and the Windy City Bombers in various leagues and tournaments. His favorite league was the Sunday Southside Cocktail League where his teams won numerous championships and he won MVP honors. From 1979 to 1989 he was employed at Rush- Presbyterian St-Luke Medical Center and was a member of the hospital’s activity committee. He led and promoted softball, basketball, and bowling activities and was a player-manager on one of the softball teams that won the championship nearly every year in the hospital’s intramural league. After his retirement from softball, Jesse demonstrated his love of the game once again when he coached the Lady Sluggers in the Southside Post Office Ladies Softball League from 2004 to 2007. He led them to second place finishes in 2005 and 2006 and to the championship in 2004. He retired from the Miller Beer Chicago Brewing Company in 2007. He has five children (Angela, Ronald, Donald, Lynn, and Ricardo) and fifteen grandchildren.
Wally Mader is considered to be one the top pitchers in the game during the 1950s and early 60s. To bolster this claim, Mader's statistics show that he had more wins at Clarendon Park than any other pitcher during the 60s and early 70s. In 1956 he played with the championship Alderman Laskoski's 36th ward team, Mozart's. A few years later in the 1960s, Mader played in the 1st Annual ASA Championship at Clarendon Park while a member of Kenneth Allen, taking second to Eddie Zolna and the Bobcats. While playing with Kenneth Allen, Mader was also a key member of the team that won the Meyerling Park Championship in the Daddy O' Daily League three years in a row. Besides league play, Wally Mader was the winning pitcher in the only Clarendon Park vs. Chicago - Kedzie All - Star game. In addition to his championship pitching, Wally Mader also contributed with his bat. He usually led the team in batting average and often hit the long ball. He once had a hitting streak of 28 hits in league play at Clarendon Park. A graduate of Holy Trinity High School in 1951, Wally Mader is married to his wife of 26 years, Nancy. He has two stepchildren and four grandchildren. He is retired after a long career in the horse racing industry.
Vito Maggerise once almost threw his arm out while trying to throw a ball onto the roof of Ryerson School on Chicago’s Westside, just a few blocks from Kells Park where he started playing softball with the Rogues when he was twenty years old. It’s fortunate that his arm recovered because Vito went on to become one of the top first basemen of the 1964-1979 era. He played with the Rogues at major parks throughout Chicago for years, winning championships throughout the city and at Clarendon and Ridgewood. While playing with the Rogues in the championship game against the Bobcats in Evanston, his daughter, Jeana, yelled out that they needed a triple play to end the game. Right on cue, the next batter hit into a triple play, (line drive to second to short-center to first) with Vito doing his famous splits at first base to record the third out. During the mid-60s, he played with both the Rogues and the Stompers before making his move to major softball when he joined the Strikers in the 1970s. In 1974 the Strikers beat Danan’s Pub 4-3 to clinch the ASA title at Dalton, Georgia. During a semi-final game against Saxon’s Lounge, Vito hit a leadoff single and helped start a rally to eventually beat Saxon’s. After leaving the Strikers, he played with the Impalas at Norridge Park, wearing the number that reflected his age - forty-seven. Vito played first base throughout his career and was known as a top leadoff hitter, who could always be counted on to start a key rally. He was named MVP at Park Ridge in 1976. That year he was voted tournament MVP at Norridge when he carried a .533 average to beat the highly touted Hornets, as recorded by an article in the Suburban Sports edition of the Chicago Tribune. During Vito’s forty-five year softball career, teams he played on won more than thirty championships, including multiple titles at Amundsen and Kosciusko Parks, the Andy Frain title in 1966, and the ASA title in 1974. Vito retired from softball in 1983 and took up golf, opening up a whole new world of friends and competition. Besides playing softball, Vito also boxed when he was young and once won the Golden Dome title at Garfield Park. He was a crane operator and a member of Local 705. He and his wife, Barbara, have two children, Jeana and Frank and four grandchildren, Dominick, Alexa, Sasha, and Evan. His grandchildren continue Vito’s love of sports by being active in baseball, soccer, and cheerleading. Unfortunately, Vito passed away in May of 2008.
|Hilde Diaz||Frank Batura||John “Sweet Daddy Wojtasik|
|Ron “Orca” Michaowicz”||Mike Stawski||Paul Zaitz|
|Pete Zaitz||Keith “Breeze” Rehr||Bob “Jaws” Jaworski|
|Joe Fabian||Gary Klonowski||Rick Regep|
|Tommy Tomlinson||Bob Bellany||Bob “Croc” Crokenower|
|Aleco Julius||Brad Kerzich||Eddie Zambo|
|Robert Wojtasik||Kerry Mecca||Scot “Wesco” Wesolowski|
|Lupe Diaz||Paul Volk||Chuck Bedlow|
|Ray Bedlow||Dan Telford||Jason “Lil Orca” Micvhalowicz|
|John Bagel||Rich “Pup” Bagel||Mark Scharlow|
|Jack Kamin||Tom Mazurski||Charles Richardson|
|Tony “Ozzie” Giglio||Tony Davis||Danny Athern|
|Jack Hogan||Larry Lenz||Nate “Dino” Brown|
|Kenny Menke||Bryan Fry||John Pelagrino|
|Tony Kabella||Bill “Rookie” Lang||Ron Risden|
|Dave Plesha||Tom Neputy||Darren Neputy|
|Brain “Coach” Udaykee||Eddie Chibe||Brad Moriaity|
|Kevin Salkeld||Paul Wetzig||Mike “Doc” Snell|
|Mark Munizzi||Jim Homa||Rolan Czik|
|Dennis Strzelczyk||“Big Dave” Sramek||Bobby Rehr|
|Gary Lewis||Mark Perecich||John Strxelczyk|
|Rich Hennessey||Bill Hickey||Mick Malmon|
|Chuck Gach||Buddy McFadden||Korky Wesolowski|
|Dean Folcar||Dan Gernatis||Don Schultz|
|Bobby Alquist||Louie Delfiacco||Allan Tomnitz|
|Mark Ksiondra||Pat Strossner||Nino Perovich|
|“Pappa Joe” Zaitz||Joe Winnek||John Svetich|
|Bob Barta||Jimmy Glorioso||Ed “Rocko” Rokosic|
|Bob Habel||Howard Habel|
Hank “Hammer” Magiera
Wearing his trademark engineer’s cap as he chugged around the bases, Hank Magiera emerged as one of the most colorful players during his softball playing days. Hank Magiera demonstrated his athleticism when he lettered in four sports (baseball, football, track, and wrestling) at Schurz High School. He was selected as an All - State baseball player with a career batting average of .515. He then played baseball at Western Illinois University with former Cub pitcher Rick Reuschel. Hank entered the world of big time softball when Denny Hall asked him to join Murderer’s Row in 1971, playing right field and hitting leadoff (and once completing an unassisted triple play). They won numerous tournaments, including the Chicago Park District Championship, the Lyon’s 45 Tournament, and the 4th of July Tournament at Kelly Park. These championships earned them the honor of being written up in the first edition of Windy City Softball Magazine in February of 1974. Hank Magiera started playing nationally when he joined the Bobcats in 1975. He played right field and hit leadoff for them but switched to center field, a position he played until the end of his career. He remembers winning the State and City Championships in the same day. Although he was primarily a single hitter who would often stretch it into a double with his patented headfirst slide into second, Magiera once hit three homeruns in one inning during the 1977 World Championship Tournament. After the Cats lost early to the Sobies at the World, they battled back from the loser’s bracket to face the Sobies again. They had to win two games to clinch the championship. He led off both games with homeruns and the Cats took both games by large margins. For his efforts, Magiera was named an ASA All American that year, and he counts this victory as his most memorable softball experience. Throughout his career he was known as a player who could “makes things happen” on offense, the main requirement for a top leadoff man. During a tournament in Marshalltown, Iowa, he reached safely in all but one at bat, despite having a pulled hamstring. He once hit a ball so hard that he knocked the third baseman for the Strikers out cold. Defensively, his speed made him a sparkling defensive player who would often run through the outfield crowds at Kelly Park to hunt down a long fly ball. Hank Magiera and his wife, Nancy, live in Barrington with their children - Stacey, Lauren, Cassie, and Nick.
Don Magnuson grew up on the Northside of Chicago and attended Amundsen High School where he excelled in athletics. He served in the Navy from 1943 to 1946 before returning to Chicago to continue his softball career. He played for the Ravenswood Merchants and Cheri-Ami Lounge at Winnemac Park, helping lead them to several championships. He was a versatile player who could play any position and was known as a feared power hitter and long ball hitter. Although he could hit to all fields, he especially liked hitting to the hole in right-center field. He once had a string of eighteen hits, with sixteen of them as homeruns to the hole in right-center. He joined the Alderman Hoellen team at Welles Park where he joined Hall of Fame manager Santo “Doc” Scavuzzo and played with Hall of Famers Kenny Speirs, Davy Arnoux, and Larry Coutre. They dominated play at Welles for years and then played at Clarendon Park and the park at Chicago and Kedzie. He also played with Nortown Check Cashers. In 1959 he moved to Northbrook and ended his days of playing major softball. He continued playing when he joined the Allen Catering-Glenview House team in the Glenview Adult League. During a ten year span from 1960 to 1970, the team posted a record of 110 - 12 and were league champions seven times and tournaments champions five times. He was the most feared hitter in the league, hitting many tape measure homeruns. Teammates remember him as true “cleanup hitter.” Defensively, he was unmatched at third base. Don graduated from Bradley University in Peoria. He was a steel salesman who owned his own company for fifteen years. After retiring from softball, he became a skilled handball player and won several YMCA tournaments throughout Chicago and the suburbs. Unfortunately Don passed away in 2007. His wife of thirty-three years, Jean, passed away in 1985. They are survived by their children, Richard, Dwight, and Donna and five grandchildren.
Rich Mahoney’s softball career started when he, Phil Pieczynski and some other Kennedy High School buddies formed a team named Elite. The problem was that no one on the team was more than eighteen years old, so they had to get permission from other teams to play in the men’s league at Minuteman Park. The age factor, however, didn’t stop them from winning the league title that year. Rich continued winning with Elite in leagues at Bedford Park and Wentworth Park. It was at Normandy Park, however, where Elite moved into big time softball by playing some of the city’s toughest teams and where Rich met Ray Topps and joined the Touch of Class. Going away to college didn’t diminish Rich’s love for softball because he would routinely drive back and forth from the University of Notre Dame from 1978 to 1981 to play in important regular season and playoff games. In 1983 when the Touch joined forces with several members of the Bobcats, Rich got his first taste of Major softball when he played in that year’s national tournament with Hall of Fame players Kenny Flaws, Willie Simpson and Eddie Zolna. It was during his playing time with that team that he learned the fine art of the “dump” hit over the third baseman’s head. With his speed, he would routinely stretch a single into a double with a headfirst slide. If the outfielder “cheated”, he would drive a long ball or hit to the gaps. Defensively, he settled into playing either third base or first base, digging out balls in the dirt or snagging line drives with his soft hands. In 1984 he played in eleven leagues and tournaments, playing nearly every weekend. That year Touch took fourth at the Nationals. In 1985 Touch won the Kelly Park League along with other tournaments, but their greatest accomplishment came when they captured the title at the 1985 National at Marshalltown, Iowa. In 1988 he tore his ACL and not only had to miss the entire season but had to change his route home from work to avoid passing a softball field. In 1989 he rejoined Touch. They lost to the Whips 2-1 in a semi-final game in Mt. Prospect, a game that many softball historians call one of the greatest games ever played. He was named to the 1st Team All-American team at that tournament. He retired from softball after the 1991 Nationals. Today he still plays occasionally in a thirtynine and over league but spends most of his time attending his children’s athletic endeavors. He and his wife, Michelle, have three children, Alanna, Spencer and Zack. They live in La Grange Park, Illinois. Rich is president of Hinsdale Bank and Trust Company.
From umpiring games between the guards and inmates at 26th and California, to using hand signals to call a game in the Hearing Impaired League, John Malloy�s forty plus year umpiring career has seen some of the greatest matches in modern softball history. Malloy especially remembers umpiring for $6.00 at the great money games between Madonna and St. Albert, when St. Albert was loaded with Bobcat players. He also remembers the time when the inmates at the County Jail stole the shoes of the guards who were on the field against a Chicago Police team. One of guards actually wanted him to intervene with the 500 inmates in getting the shoes back. A 39 nyear member, John Malloy has also served for fifteen years on the Rules Committee of the Umpires Protective Association. He was instrumental in changing the rule that allowed a runner a free return to first base from second. A 1940 graduate of Tilden Tech, John Malloy worked for Rockwell International and Sears Roebuck. He and his wife Delores have three children, six stepchildren and numerous grandchildren.
JP “Pat” Malone
Lots of bars sponsor softball teams, but not many have supported as many as J.P. "Pat" Malone of McGaffer's Saloon in Forest Park. Over 35 years, Malone has spread it around generously to teams competitive and not so competitive. In that time, Pat has become as much a part of the Forest Park softball scene as Clinchers and beer. He sponsors from 10 to 18 teams annually. Certainly Malone expects, like any owner, to be paid back through players patronizing his establishment. And McGaffer's is , indeed, a popular hangout for many area softball players. But his dedication to softball is much more than a business strategy. "He actually goes and sees as many games as possible," notes Terry Collins, the pitcher for the McGaffer's Rockets team. Adds regular Rich "Chubbs" Polfus, "He's just an all around great sponsor. He's helped keep softball alive in the Forest Park area." At last years Forest Park Invitational, Malone sponsored not one, but three teams: the Rockets, the Bats and the Bridgeport Crush. "Softball doesn't work unless there are sponsors like J.P.," says Polfus. The extent to which Malone supports and honors his teams is evident to anyone approaching the saloon from the east on Roosevelt Rd. There on the side of the building , painted on the brick, is a roll call of some of the teams who have called the place home. These include the Moonlighters, McKickers, Knock Outs, Rockets, Flames, Club Orange, Hilltopp, Heads Up, Lite Headed, Ice Nine, Cjiefs, Chili Sauce, Sport'n'Wood, Groggers, Spike the Dog, Bat'n'Brew, Bat Girls, McGaffer's Co-ed and the Screwballs. Inside, over 50 trophies line the upper shelves and cabinet tops high above the bar. Two dozen photographs of past and present McGaffer's teams hang throughout the room. Asked why one dedicates his life to a saloon, Malone thinks for a moment, shrugs, and says "If I didn't have this place, I'd have to stay home at night. It's about the friendships you build up over the years. I've met so many good people over the years." It takes one to know one, Pat.
Having played softball for ten years, Joe Manza knew the game, players, and the rules. This knowledge helped him officiate games at the highest levels of competition. He played in six national tournaments with the Condors, Jays, and Eastsiders. In 1985 he became an ASA umpire and officiated a majority of his softball games in the major divisions at Blue Island, Mt. Prospect, and Clyde Park. He called balls-and-strikes at over 2500 games and is still umpiring today. During his twenty-four year tenure as an umpire, he officiated twenty Forest Park "No Gloves" Tournaments, twenty-three Metro tournaments, twenty-three state tournaments, and eight nationals. Joe has also been involved in many other major tournaments at various sites (Westchester and Alsip). Joe and his wife, Marie, live in Naperville, Illinois. They enjoy spending time with their children – Nicole, Jeff, and Jillian, son-in-law, Clay, and grandson, Ian.
Jack Marcoline began his softball career inthe sandlots and playgrounds around Midway Airport when he was twelve. His father, Joe, would often ask him to fill-in for the Chicago Fire Department team. When his family moved back to the West side, he continued playing in the fields at Clark and Moore. In 1954, Bob Snell and Bill Hickey recruited him to play shortstop for Song Lounge. They won many championships at Garfield and LaFollette Parks. In 1956, Nick "Moose"Camillo (HOF) recruited him to play for his team. They played at Kell's Clarendon, Garfield, LaFollette, and Portage Parks. He had a great career with "Moose," helping him win many championships and big money games. In the early-60s, he joined the O'Boyle Transfer Team with Hall of Fame teammates Eddie Earl, Denny Migala, Frank Lentine, Wimpy O'Connor, and Lewa Yacilla. He finished his softball career with Bill King in Bellwood, Villa Park and DuPage County. He then moved to central Illinois to take a football-coaching job. Jack graduated from St. Philip High School in 1954 where he was an All-City Lightweight basketball player and an All-City running back. He played football for Kansas State University for four years. After graduation, he coached basketball and football at St. Philip and Little Flower High Schools. He then moved to central Illinois where he coached football for over forty years, twenty-five of those as defensive coordinator at Eureka College. Jack and his wife, Judy, live in Minonk, Illinois, They have four children – Cathie, Pam, Mike, and Jen.
Michael “Reno” Mareno
A veteran of the softball wars in parks on the North and Northwest sides, Mike Moreno began his 16" softball career as many great players before him did - on the school grounds of Chicago. He played with the legendary running back Jim Grabowski as a member of the Rascals at Rosedale Park and with the Playboys at Jefferson Park. In 1966 he joined with Active Screw at Clarendon and went full time with them in 1967, earning Most Valuable Player honors at the Andy Frain Tournament in 1968. Mareno made his big move to the majors in 1969 when he was recruited by Eddie Zolna to play with the Bobcats. During his tenure with the Bobcats, Mareno was a major contributor to eight ASA National titles from 1969 to 1979. In 1976 he was selected MVP at the Winston Firecracker AAA tournament and earned similar honors at the 1977 ASA Nationals at St. Louis, a memorable tournament because of the defensive plays he made to help secure the championship. A left fielder with a lifetime batting average over .500, Mareno prides himself on never having worn a glove during his career. Offensively, Mike was known as a slot hitter who recorded clutch singles and doubles as a member of the Bobcats. Mike has been retired from Commonwealth Edison for seven years and lives in DesPlaines with his children, Lauren, Anthony and Mikala.
Sherman Martin, Jr.
Born and raised on the West side of Chicago, Sherman began playing softball in the alleys and schoolyards of K-Town. He started playing sixteeninch softball at LaFollette Park with the Pirates, a team of high school buddies. After he graduated from Prosser Vocational High School, he played for the Cougars, Wild Bunch, T. Birds, Devils, Beavers, and Boss Larrys. Sherman played third base and shortstop on teams that won titles at Lafollette Park, Franklin Park, Garfield Park, and Maywood Park. Once he graduated from Lewis University, he was recruited to play with the legendary Safari Tigers. His skills helped them win many league championships. They were also runnersup at the 1984 and 1985 ASA Major Nationals. He played under Claude Rhodes (HOF) and soon was bit by the managerial bug. He was given the opportunity to manage in the spring of 1984 when he became the player / manager for the California Gold. They won league titles at Garfield and Maywood Parks. In 1994 the B-Athletes were created with Sherman as manager. They won many championships at Hamilton, Ogden, and Washington Parks. They were the first team to win the Mike Royko Tournament in Grant Park, with fellow coaches Floyd Glover, and Raymond "Doc" Warren. They also placed fifth in the 1999 ASA Major Nationals. They also played in the Forest Park "No Gloves" Nationals and in the Pro League. In 2004, Sherman was approached by veteran Dogg Pound players to take over the reins of the team. They won titles at Washington Park's Wednesday and Friday leagues and also clinched The Sunday's Best titles. In 2006, they won several Claude Rhode Tournaments and placed fourth in the 2006 ASA "A" Nationals at Cedar Rapids, Iowa. In 2009, he coached the Solutions, leading them to titles at Washington Park and to three Southwest Windy City Classic championships (2009, 2010, 2011.) In September 2011 Solutions won the ASA "A" Nationals in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Sherman and his wonderful wife, Sharon, live in Chicago, Illinois. They have three children – Quintel (Jersan), Jason (Cady), and Sherman, III and two grandchildren, Bella and Jalen. 11
Don Martina began playing softball in the '60s and continues playing today for a career spanning over forty years. While serving in the Army, he played softball and basketball overseas and along the East Coast. He returned to Chicago in 1968 and joined several local teams playing at Lawndale (now Piotrowski) Park on Chicago's Southside. He played outfield for one of those teams, the Centaurs, leading them to many championships in the '70s at Lawndale and Pasteur Parks. In the '80s, Don switched from outfield to short center and started playing on teams throughout the Western Suburbs, including the Angels in Lyons, Static in LaGrange, Rizza Rockers in Cicero, Warhawks in North Riverside, and Bat and Brew in Brookfield. He helped lead these teams to much local success. Don started what would be a twenty-five-year partnership when he joined the Doctors in the mid-'80s. He helped lead them to league titles at Bedford Park, Summit, LaGrange, Hodgkins, Brookfield, Berwyn, and Cicero. Additionally they won the 1984 Suburban Life Classic title in Pleasantdale, the 1988 Hawthorne Park Tournament title, the 1988 USSSA Illinois State title in Orland Park, the 1989 NSA National title in Grays Lake, and the 1989 Suburban Life Classic in North Riverside. Their most exciting win came with the 1988 Class "A" National title in Indianapolis. He continued his success with the Doctors into the '90s. He helped them capture a third place finish in the 1990 ASA "A" Nationals in Iowa and a second place finish in the 1991 ASA "A" Nationals in Blue Island. He holds a lifetime batting average over .600, has tallied three hundred homeruns, and registered over 1,000 RBIs. He was named to the All Tournament team at the Suburban Life Classic in 1984, 1988-1991, and 1993. He was selected MVP in that tournament in 1989, an honor he truly cherishes. But his best memories are the great times, friendships, and camaraderie he has shared with his teammates. Don retired from Lucent Technologies as an R/D Manager in 2001 after thirty-seven years of service. He continues to play in various "Over - 39" and "Over 50" leagues in LaGrange, Berwyn, and Cicero. He is also a respected umpire in the Western Suburbs. Don and his wife, Carol, live in Lemont, Illinois. The have two daughters, Kristen (David) Kowalski, and Bonnie (Michael) Eichinger and three lovely grandchildren, Grace, Nathan, and Daniel.
Bill “Willie” Massuci
Bill Massuci played during some of softball’s most competitive decades, with some of the best teams of the era. In the ‘60s, ‘70s and early ‘80s, Bill played with top teams such as the Stompers, Rogues, Sobies and Otto’s. He earned a reputation as one of the best shortstops and short centers of his time, while posting a lifetime batting average over 660 and averaging 30 home runs a season. His hitting and defensive skills earned him tournament MVP titles at James Park, Rolling Meadows and Sayre. Bill was named to five major All Tournament Teams, including the Windy City Tournament, and the ASA Nationals in 1973, ‘77, ‘78 and 1983. Following the 1983 season, Bill Massuci retired from softball. In 2001, Bill lived in Wayne, Illinois with his wife, Rosanne and daughters Marissa and Alexandrea.
Eugene “Matt” Mathis
Gene Mathis was born in Chicago during the Great Depression. Like many great players, he started playing softball with the older boys in the neighborhood. But he had an advantage that other young players might not have had. He had a bat and ball. His grandfather found them as scavenged the more affluent areas of Chicago to make ends meet. So if they didn't let him play, he literally would take his bat and ball and go home. The older boys put him in right field because he didn't want to play catcher. Eventually his skills improved and it wasn't long before those older boys would seek him out when they were short a player. He worked all through high school and enlisted in the Air Force during the Korean War. He was stationed in Germany and played base-level football, squadron-level fast pitch softball, and won two of three boxing matches. From 1954 to 1995, he played softball and raised a family on the South side of Chicago. During these years, he played in the legendary Daddy O Daily League, the South side Tavern League, and the Washington Park Post Office League. He also played at Rosenblum and Grand Crossing Parks and played with the Chicago Rockets, Victorians, Jive Ten, and the Iron Men. He played center and left field, shortstop, and short center. He has a lifetime batting average over .600 and hit five hundred homeruns and drove in five thousand runs. During his prime playing years, he was considered to be one of the top players of his time. In 1963 he was voted MVP of the Daddy O Daylie League while playing with Jive Ten. At forty-eight years of age he was picked as MVP of his team, the Zodiacs, while playing in the Tavern League. Eugene and his wife, Dorothea, live on Chicago's South side. They have two children - Denise and Stephanie (deceased). The have four grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.
Jim Matlock played wide receiver for Hinsdale South High School, so it made sense that when he started playing softball, he would become a natural left fielder. He started his thirty-four year softball career with some friends in a Sunday morning league at Shabonna Park when he was nineteen. As is true for all great players, he was quickly noticed. Guy Trippi recruited him to play for the Woodmen. He played for the Woodmen for two years, the Blues for six years until they disbanded, March, Hollywood Casino / Doll House, Sports Channel, Puglish, Bucks, Splinters, and the 45s. He helped these teams win eight ASA National titles: five with the 45s, and one each with Hollywood, Puglise, and Splinters. They have also won nine Forest Park championships. Jim played left field during most of his career but switched to right field and third base later in his career. He started out as a straight pull-hitter, but as he matured, he studied other hitters and eventually became a gap hitter. He was named an ASA All -American ten times, was named the Forest Park tournament MVP in 2003, and was the ASA MVP for the 2005 nationals. He also won an ASA award for 12-inch softball. Jim and his wife, Holly, live in Woodridge, Illinois. They have two children - Jason and Justin and three grandsons - Jaden, Jacob, and Logan.
Chester “Whitey Maytag” Matykiewicz
He was the right hander who played for Witt Hanley Yankees, Fewer Boilers and became an Allstar 2nd sacker for Midland Motor's- considered by many the best defensive player in the game at the position and always had a high batting average. Played on both Midland Motor's and Witt Hanley Yankee title teams. The '43 championship game ball after an 11-8 win was given to Whitey for his exceptional play by his fellow Yankees. A fan favorite and will always be known for his big smile, generosity, and being a family man. State wrestling champion for Lindblom Tech High School. Born in l917. He and his wife Grace have passed away. They are survived by two children and three grandchildren.
Ronnie “Mouse” Maurer
Ronnie “Mouse” Maurer started playing 16-inch softball after concluding other notable sports accomplishments. In 1961, he won All-City baseball honors while playing for Amundsen High School on Chicago’s North side. Later, as the only sophomore on the starting line-up, he captained the University of Illinois baseball team to the Big Ten championship in 1963. He also played a few years in the Cape Cod Baseball League on the East Coast. Once he started playing 16-inch softball, however, he quickly established himself as one of the top players of his era. Ron started playing for the Shooters at Clarendon Park in 1968. They quickly established themselves as a top team by winning the championship two years in a row.Besides the Clarendon title, they also won titles at Terminal Park in Skokie, at James Parkin Evanston, and at Mather Park in Chicago. They also won several tournaments on the South side, at Niles, and at Blue Island during Ron’s time with the team. As a left-handed hitter with exceptional speed, he piled up extra base hits, including numerous “speed” homeruns when he hit to the gap between the outfielders. He carried a batting average well over .600 each season. His speed and sure hands made him a top defensive player in left field. His speed allowed him to get a jump on the ball, demoralizing runners who thought they had a clean hit to left field. Those runners who tried to stretch a single into an extra-base hit found that his strong and accurate arm quickly dashed their hopes. His teammates rarely recall him making an error. In 1972 he joined the Bobcats and helped them win numerous local tournaments and a national title in St. Louis. He received all-tournament honors for his efforts. He moved to Los Angeles in 1977 and, surprisingly, found a four-team 16-inch league made up primarily of transplanted Chicagoans. He also played 12-inch ball before retiring from playing in 1993. Ron and his wife, Vicki, live in Canoga Park, California. They have three children - Gilly (Carter), Nikki (Jason), and Paige (Ryan). They also have four grandsons - Satya, Mason, Campbell, and Taj, and one due in May. A great beginning to an all-star team.
James “Mac” McArdle
Growing up in Canaryville, Jim McCardle started out playing softball the way generations of kids in Chicago did - on the street corner using the sewers as bases and dodging cars while chasing a fly ball. When he and his friends got too big for the street corner (and started threatening the windows of their neighbors with their line drives) they moved to the local park, specifically Boyce Park at Root and Union (now named Taylor-Lauridsen Park). Jim played with Knights of Columbus for over a decade at Kelly Park, Clarendon and Ridge Parks. He was named to the all-star team in 1965 with Madonna Knights of Columbus. He then met Hall of Famer Les Messinger and played with Moore Business Forms for twelve years until his retirement from softball in 1976. Primarily a left fielder throughout his career, Jim was known for his quickness to the ball and a strong arm that was capable of challenging runners at every base. Offensively, he was a leadoff hitter whose ability to get on base consistently set the table for the hitters behind him. He worked for thirty-five years for Campbell-66 Freight Company. He and his wife, Marilyn, have three children, Jim Jr., Tom (deceased), and Dennis. They live in Bangor, Michigan.
Jim McCabe played softball in Glenview during high school from 1973 – 1974. He was with Phoenix from 1978 – 1982 as manager. His team won the league in 1978 and 1979 against such teams as the Railbirds, the Rat – Pack, and Jack Daniels. Phoenix became the Scorpions and competed in the Classic League from 1982 – 1987. He then led the Spiros from 1988 until 1996 winning the Old Style Classic at Grant Park in 1994 and 1996. From 1997 – 2001 he managed Overtime, Quest and Sage. Jim joined the Bucketheads in 2002 and helped them place 2nd in the ASA Major Nationals in 2005. The Bucketheads became Windy City in 2010, and as manager Jim was a part of the win in the Major National Championships. In 2011 Windy City once again played in the National Championship placing 2nd in the country. Jim also enjoys managing a co-ed team at work which he has been a part of since 1998.
John “Mickey” McCallum
In nominating John McCallum for the Hall of Fame, Tommy Frangella, a 1998 Hall of Fame Umpire inductee, said that McCallum embodied three important characteristics of a great softball player; "His fielding was flawless, his hitting was tremendous and his sportsmanship was beyond reproach." Born in 1919, John McCallum graduated from Mt. Carmel high school in 1939 and began his softball career with Amstader's and Grove's Menswear in the 30s. As news of his talent spread, he was picked up by other teams that read like a Who's Who of Pioneer softball. In the 1940s he played with Jack's Menswear and the Kodackers, and with Nudo's for big money games. He also played with Harry's Owl Club in the Windy City League, helping them to become one of the great teams in softball history. In the 1950s John switched to Conroy's. John McCallum's passion for the game, and his two decade involvement helped shape 16" softball into the game it is today. John's three daughters are Sue, Patty and Joanne. His son's are Jay and Barry. He also has twelve grandchildren. In 2000, John lived in Palos Heights, Illinois.
Bob McClelland was one of the most feared leadoff hitters in 16" softball. His fiery temperment, fierce competitiveness, and batting skills allowed him to “set the table” for some of the best hitters of his era. Many of the top teams of his time recognized and sought his skills as he played for Right-ons, J’s, Whips, Sports Station, and the legendary Bobcats. Ron Kubicki, one of Bob�s coaches, placed his talent in perspective when he said, “When you build a team, your most important position is leadoff. There was nobody more feared in his era as a leadoff hitter than Bob McClelland.” Mc Clelland’s talents paid off when he was selected to numerous tournament All - Star teams throughout his career. A slick infielder with superior defensive skills and speed that enabled him to stretch a single into a double, Bob McClelland lives in Cedar Lake, Indiana.
Tom “Oscar” McClelland
- Thirty-six ASA Major Qualifiers
- the Grant Park Tournament (1993 to 1998)
- the Illinois State Tournament (1993-1998, 2000-2002, and 2004-2013)
- the winners’ final bracket and championship games on the Forest Park No- Glove Nationals (2000-2002 and 2004-2014)
- the Championship game of the Chicagoland Classic Tournament (2002, 2004- 2006, and 2009-2014), including ten championship games
- the Westchester Tournament of Champions (seven championship games)
- Major League softball at Mt Prospect Classic League (1993 – 1998 and 2000- 2014), the Forest Park “Pro” TV League (1996 -1998, and league in Bensenville, Lisle, LaGrange and Westchester /Hodgkins.
- the Forest Park Major League (2010-2014)
Robert McCormack started his softball career in 1950 with the Braves and before he was finished he would play at some of the top parks and with some of the best teams of his era. After the Braves, he was recruited to play with the Yanks before heading over to play with Eddie Barretts for two years. He then moved over to play for the Crusaders until 1962. His playing days were interrupted by military service, but talented athletes always find places to play even when far away from home. He played basketball and baseball with the 1st Calvary from 1952 to 1954 while stationed in Sapporo, Japan. In 1958, while playing for Father Perez Knights of Columbus, he helped them to an undefeated season. In 1961, he joined the Chicago Police Department and applied his playing abilities to the Police League and the Grant Park League, playing with the 4th District for five years. They took first place for four years and he was selected to police all-star teams. His softball career ended in 1971, after playing for 21 years. During his softball career, he was known for his stellar defense and clutch hitting. While he primarily played shortstop, he also spent time at second base and carried a .600 plus batting average throughout his playing days. Bob McCormack and his wife, Gloria, have four children - Robert, Michael, John, and Patricia - and three grandchildren. He retired from the Chicago Police Department after thirty years of service. They live in Tinley Park, Illinois.
In its sixteen year history, the team known collectively as the Dwarfs / Amalgamonsters / Monsters, accumulated a record 1,322 wins against 333 losses, for a 799 winning percentage. As a player coach, Mike McGovern was an integral part of that impressive record. A graduate of Lane Tech High School and the University of Illinois (where he played 16” softball, football and ran track), McGovern began his career with the Dwarfs in 1957. As a catcher, he hit over 100 home runs, hit over 600 for two years, and was selected a First Team All-American in 1978, ‘79 and ‘80. At that time the Dwarfs/Amalgamonsters took second place three times and came in third once at the National Tournament. From 1990 to 1998, Mike McGovern had accumulated an equally impressive record as coach of the women’s fast pitch team at the University of Illinois, Chicago. His record includes one College World Series appearance, three NCAA Regional appearances, and a record 417 wins that ranked his team as 21st in USA Today. During the last five years, his 12” fast pitch team is the team with the fifth most wins in the United States. They have won five conference championships in a row. Mike McGovern and his wife, Pat have two sons who are continuing the softball tradition. In 2000 they were both playing for the Dwarfs.
Mary Pat McGuire
Considered by many to be the best defensive shortstop in the game, Pat McGuire could make unbelievable plays look easy, whether it was throwing a runner out from deep in the hole, turning a double play or gunning down a runner with a cut off throw from the outfield. A feared hitter, she could hit for power, move a runner, hit and run, whatever the team needed. She was an original member of the powerhouse team Rose & Crown and then the Desperados. The two teams combined for close to 500 wins and only 44 defeats. These two 16" teams won nine consecutive ASA Metro Titles (76-86) which were the "Nationals" for women, a feat that may never be equaled. She went to Chicago State University on a four year basketball scholarship where she also played four years of 12" softball, graduating in 1976. She was inducted into the National Touch Football Hall of Fame in St. Louis in 1988, honoring her career as quarterback of a team that won four National Titles in eleven consecutive trips to the Championships. In 1992 she was an assistant coach at the United States Olympic Festival in Los Angeles in the sport of Team Handball. Also in 1992 she was an extra in the movie "A League of Their Own." She has played 11" and 12" softball in Indiana, Wisconsin, California, Utah, Florida, Hawaii, Colorado and even Ireland. In 1990 organized and brought a team of eight women and one man to compete in the Irish Softball Championships which were comprised of eight men and two women. Her team beat all that they played, including the U.S. Marine guards from the United States Embassy. The women's team gift to the Irish teams were 16" softballs. Both her coaches, Bob Eskew and Ron Roman, will be glad to tell you that they were blessed by not only her talent, but desire and leadership. She is currently a Supervisor in the Chicago Park District.
Robert Emmett “Butch” McGuire
Unlike any other "Friend of Softball" winner before him, Butch McGuire actually was a friendly acquaintance of Richard J Daley. One of his customers described the social and gregarious McGuire in a 1986 Tribune magazine profile saying, "Butch is 30% businessman and 70% humanitarian." Back in 1962, McGuire's prototypical singles bar-considered to be the first singles bar in America-transformed the saloon experience and how people, especially women, related to it. In creating that first singles bar, McGuire in effect created the template for the sports bar phenomenon that would come a few years later, as both rely on the same demographics that Butch instinctively tapped into in the early '60's. McGuire soon came to have a major impact on several Chicago scenes besides the social scene, including politics, charity and 16" softball-the game as gritty and authentic as the taverns themselves.
Leonard “Sarge” McKinnon
In over 40 years in 16" softball, Leonard "Sarge" McKinnon forged a legendary reputation as a player, manager, umpire and administrator. The Wendell Phillips High School graduate started playing softball in 1942 at the Wabash YMCA at 37th and Wabash when he founded the Nighthawks. He played first base and was their top hitter. The next year, the Nighthawks became the Vagabonds and McKinnon played with them for three years, leading them in hitting and fielding. He then played with the Junior Clowns out of the Southside Boys Club. McKinnon's softball career took off when he became a member of the legendary Ironmen, organized in 1946 by Stanley "Champ" Schealey. McKinnon played first base, short center and third base with the Ironmen for 31 years, leading them in home runs. In 1971 Leonard became the manager of the Ironmen, a position he held from 1971 to 1981. He was also league commissioner from 1966 to 1981, when he retired from active player to umpire, a position he still holds. Leonard McKinnon and his wife of 48 years have seven children and twelve grandchildren. He retired from the Illinois National Guard as a Sergeant First Class after 36 years of service.
Sylvester “Vesmo” McKinnon
Tim McManigal started playing softball in 1977 in the Worth Park District with the Players when he was fifteen years old. He then moved to the Hot Shots in the Worth Men’s League. In 1984 and ‘85 he played for Barrel of Fun. They took fifth place in the ASA National tournament both years. He played for Bud Chicago / Sports Station in 1986, 1987, and 1988. They won many tournaments, including the 1987 ASA Nationals. In1991 he played for Jynx softball and helped them to a third place finish at the ASA nationals that year. From 1992 to 1999 he played for Lettuce softball and helped establish them as one of softball’s legendary teams by winning ASA national titles in 1992, ‘93, ‘96, and ‘98. They won the USSSA title in 1994 and Forest Park championships in 1991, ‘93, ‘94, and ‘97. Tim had excellent speed that allowed him to chase down long fly balls. This skill made him one of the top center fielders of his time. He could hit to all fields and was known as a consistent singles / double hitter. He was selected to two 2nd Team All - American teams at the nationals. Tim and his wife, Karen, have four children - Tim, III, Tom, Theo, and T.J. They live in Chicago Ridge, IL.
In the late 1970s, a chance meeting at a recently opened North Side bar led to the creation of McSchnapps, a women’s neighborhood team that would win many championships during the ‘70s, ‘80s, and ‘90s and create lifelong friendships along the way. During their heyday, McSchnapps played at Touhy, Paul Revere, Wells, Lake Shore, and Horner Parks. A North Side team from Clark and Rosemont that played without a coach, they regularly battled North Side teams the Baton and OJ’s and South Side rivals the Angels and Rose N Crown in tournaments at Grant Park and Trevor, Wisconsin. As a result of teamwork that was created over decades of playing softball, the women of McSchnapps remain friends to this day. They credit their continued success to the sponsorship and friendship of McSchnapps owner, Jeff Olsen, and the many fans who supported them every season. Like many softball teams that draft other players and form new teams, players from McSchnapps became the Stray Cats and Lyon’s Den, but the girls of McSchnapps will always remember the memories they created playing as a neighborhood team from Clark and Rosement. Mary Defiglia Bebe McBride Linda Iussa Vicky Avers Susan Boeck Donna Sokolowski Sharon King Pam Levar Linda Husby Denise Mallas Del Cecchini Bridget Coleman Linda Holowicki Sara Cirincioni Katherine Kern Sponsor: Jeff Olsen
Rich Melman has been a baseball player all of his life and retired at the age of 55. He and Joel Zimberoff have managed Lettuce to two runners-up finishes and to three ASA National titles. Lettuce has won every major championship in the game and is considered by many to be the “Yankees” of sixteen-inch softball. In between games, he also is one of the most successful restaurant executives in the world. Besides managing Lettuce, Rich Melman’s efforts were instrumental in attracting more players and teams to sixteen-inch softball. The Grant Park Classic that was televised for six years and the Pro League that was televised for three years was co-founded by Melman and producer David Hynes. The games were televised throughout the Midwest by the Sportschannel crew of Mike North, Steve Kashul, and George Bliss. This exposure created a renewed interest in softball with the ASA reporting increased enrollments by teams, by players in co-recreational leagues, and in tournament participation. Rich Melman also started the Windy City Classic, a league that attracted top “A” teams. This effort worked and the major division now has the best “A” teams competing each week. Rich and his wife, Martha, have three children who have all been encouraged to play Chicago’s great game.
The Frank C. Holan Award has been established to honor a person for their deeds on and off the field. The person who best represents our game on the diamond and behind the scene and mirrors Frank’s passion for the game is Richard Melman in 1997. In fact, he is by far the most important person to impact the game in the last two decades. Rich Melman has been a softball player all his life and still plays today on the Over The Hill league. The past seven years he and Joel Zimberoff have managed the Lettuce team to 3 ASA National titles and has been runner up twice. His team has won every major championship in the game. They are the Yankees of the sport. In between games he is one of the most famous restaurant executives in the world. His influence has allowed the game to flourish the past six ears. His marketing strategy for his favorite game has been based on simple television exposure, team uniforms, and encouraging more teams to compete at the major level. The Grant Park Classic (6 years) and Pro League (3 years) that are televised were co-founded by Rich and producer David Hynes. The exposure of the game across the Midwest by the Sports channel crew of Mike North, Steve Kashul and George Bliss has been a boom to the game. The ASA reports more teams signed up more women and co-eds, and more tournaments played each year. He started the Windy City Classic which attracted A teams to set up and play the top teams. His ploy worked and the Major division has most teams competing each week in many years He is actively involved in the Hall of Fame and he and his wife Martha consistently support the community in many charitie, a few benefiting children to play 16 softball and has used celebrity softball games to raise money. He has also influenced his 3 children to play the game. His company vision at Lettuce Entertain You follows him and his team on and off the field, “Our vision is the Best We Can Be, realizing that we can always improve, we are constantly striving for excellence. Working to achieve this goal has been our ultimate reward.” If his pace and work continues, no one will be surprised if he has the most influence in the history of the sport. Frank would be pleased that Rich is the first recipient of an award in his honor.
“When the ten dollar bet on the game was your last ten dollars, that’s pressure.” So begins Les Messinger’s commentary on softball in the 60s and 70s, an era that many softball historians consider the highest quality and most competitive softball era in Chicago history. Competing against such softball icons as the Bobcats, Sobies, Rogues, Butch Mc Guires, Dwarfs, and Lyons 45s, Messinger pitched and served as captain of the powerful Moore Business Forms and Loafers softball teams for fifteen years. Competing at Kelly and Clarendon Parks, the Loafers won eleven league or playoff titles. Many consider the Loafers to be the best defensive team in 16-inch history. Besides playing and managing, Messinger is also credited with being a major organizer of the major softball league at Kelly Park, where he served as league president for the first eleven years. Although the “big leagues” have passed him by, Les can still be found pitching two or three days a week in high caliber local leagues. For the past thirty years Messinger had been a commodity broker / cattle trader whose newsletter has been called the best advisory letter to the cattle industry in the United States.
Wally Meyers began his softball career in 1937 as manager and first baseman with Becker Coals at Hamlin Park in the Lincoln - Belmont Softball League. His superb fielding at first base and ability to get on base earned him All Star honors that year along with Hall of Famers Dick Triptow and Bud Gierke. Meyers also earned All Star honors at Weber Park as captain of the 45th Ward Boosters. Meyers and Becker Coals earned a distinction rare in softball history; they were the first team to play in the newly opened, fully fenced Northtown Currency Exchange Stadium. Becker Coals lost to Thillens Check Cashers in that game, despite four home runs and a double from Meyers. Wally's efforts were not unnoticed, however, as Mel Thillins asked Meyers, Bud Gierke and Ed Grzonka to play for him. Thillins later went on to organize the North Town Currency Exchange Softball School, a major effort to teach softball skills to youngsters, and Meyers was recruited as a special instructor. Like many other young men of his time, Wally's softball career was interrupted by World War II. He joined the Army Air Force and flew 12 combat missions, including bombing oil fields in Germany and Romania, before being shot down the day after D Day. For his heroism, Meyers received the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Air Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, as well as the Purple Heart. Unfortunately, his wounds were serious. Shrapnel had shattered his left arm and he remained hospitalized for an extended period. Wally returned to Chicago's far less dangerous softball wars in 1946, but his play was limited due to paralysis in his thumb and two fingers of his left hand. Still, in 1947 he captained and played first base for the 45th Ward Boosters at Hamlin Park. There in a major jackpot game, Wally hit a ground smash past Hall of Famer Stan Szukala to win the game. After that he decided it was time to hang up his spikes and retire from the game.
Charles “Missy” Miceli
Charles Miceli was known to his teammates and opponents as Mississippi, but that was too long for a nickname, so it was shortened to Missy. Over his five-decade softball career as a shortstop and pitcher, he was truly one of the great players of the Pioneer era. In the early 1940s, the Boston Red Sox twice offered Miceli a contract, but he refused them both times in order to stay with friends and family in Chicago. In the mid-40s he was a star shortstop and hitter as a member of the Angels of Broadway playing in the Windy City League. He led them to the Windy City title at Comiskey Park. In addition to Angels of Broadway, he played with Petrones, the Stompers, and Superior Lions at all of the major parks around the Chicago area. From 1968 to 1980 he pitched for the Stompers at Amundsen Park. At forty-eight he still hadn't missed a beat, averaging two or three hits per game and pitching them to twelve titles. The Stompers also played in the 30th Ward Championships, an event that attracted thirty-two of the top softball teams in the area. The Stompers won the event for eight consecutive years. When the Stompers disbanded in 1980, Miceli played for and managed Missy's Rags, an Amundsen Park team that won four league titles from 1981 to 1986. He was a recreational leader for thirty-three and a half years with the Chicago Park District at Amundsen Park. He passed away in June of 2002. He leaves behind his wife, Lynn, a daughter, Katie and a granddaughter. Another daughter, Kathleen, preceded him in death.
A graduate of Budlong Elementary and Amundsen High School on Chicago’s northwest Side, Lynn Miceli went to the University of Illinois when it was at Navy Pier. She graduated with a degree in physical education from the U. of I. after it moved to the Circle Campus. She then went to work at Hiawatha Park in 1967 and moved to Amundsen Park in 1968 where she started a career that would influence women’s softball for years. She started playing softball at Hiawatha Park in 1967 and organized a Friday night women’s league that would become one of the most competitive leagues in Chicago. The league moved to Kosciuszko Park in 1971 where it remained until 1985. Lynn was known as a top defensive catcher of her day because of her ability to block the plate and her toughness to withstand the inevitable collisions that were bound to happen. She played for the Stomperettes and Miceli’s Mob who were perennial champs at Kosciuszko for years. She retired from softball in December 1998 to become league director of the Grant Park Softball League, the largest league in the country. She took over the reins from another Hall of Fame inductee, Buddy Haines. In 1968 she met her future husband and Hall of Fame inductee, Charles Miceli, who was also a recreation supervisor at Amundsen Park. They have one child, Katie and a granddaughter. Charles passed away in 2002.
Pam Michalski-Vidovic’s career began humbly in Calumet Park at age nine, when she played on neighborhood teams organized by neighborhood blocks. Talent like hers would not go unnoticed for long. By age twelve, she had moved into citywide tournaments, playing with Chicago’s West Pullman and winning the City Championship twice. She was attracted to pitching because it gave her the ball most often and made her the focus of the game. With her impressive tournament play and pitching ability, Vidovic was soon recruited by Women’s softball powerhouse, Rose & Crown. Pam was instrumental in Rose & Crown winning four Calumet City League Championships and four Blue Island League Championships. She was named MVP in the Windy City tournament, the Cal Park and Blue Island tournaments and with the West Pullman Park Citywide team. In addition to her pitching prowess, Pam batted tenth in the Rose & Crown lineup and consistently came through with clutch singles and doubles. Pam credits the coaching she received early in her career for her success. When she and others wanted to stay late to “hit a few more balls” her coaches were always willing to stay. Pam eventually achieved a remarkable pitching record of 831 wins against 87 losses, 16 no-hit games and 46 one-hit games. In 2001, Pam was a recreational center director with the Blue Island Park District, living in Blue Island with her husband Jerry and her sons Troy and Jordan.
Members of the Kool Vent Awning team would have been very surprised to find out the age of the kid they often called on to fill in for missing players. Dennis Migala was only 15 when he played for one of the top teams in 16" softball history. He started playing sandlot baseball at age 10, and by the time he was 15 he had achieved a solid reputation on the diamond. Dennis played for the Crusaders during the early to mid 50's, before he switched to Interstate Motors, out of Kell's Field, and O'Boyle Transfer at Clarendon Park. He then went on to play for various teams formed and managed by Hall of Famer Moose Camillo. Dennis Migala retired from softball in the late 1960s to pursue another passion; golf. In 2000, he had been a property and casualty broker since 1969, forming his own company in 1975, and merging with American Insurance Agency in 1986. He and his wife, Helene, have a daughter and three grandchildren.
Jim Mikuta started playing softball at 37th and Albany in the Brighton Park neighborhood of Chicago. Like thousands of kids before him, he and his friends played “sewer to sewer” until they were too big for the street corner and moved to the schoolyards or the neighborhood parks. In Jim’s case he moved to gravel lots along at 38th Street during recess where he received valuable lessons on hitting from the nuns at St. Joseph and St. Anne’s Grammar Schools. He attended St. Rita High School until his family moved to the Midway Airport area in 1962 and Jim transferred to Gage Park High School. Because of this move, he spent a lot of time at Pasteur Park watching the older guys play. Once he got older, he and his friends started the Chancellors. They played at Pasteur and other neighborhood parks. Around 1964 - 65 they combined players with some former Whips players and created the Hustlers. It was a two-day tournament with the Hustlers at Trumbull Park that would change Jim’s softball fortunes. They were playing Red’s Tap (aka the Bobcats) in a 9:00 game on Sunday morning and many of the players for Red’s Tap were late in arriving, so the Hustlers were holding their own. Once the stragglers started arriving, the game turned from being a good game to being a great game. Although the Hustlers lost the game 7-6, Jim did especially well on the field and at bat, hitting two homers and a triple. After the game, Pete Monaco, the Hall of Fame manager, asked Jim if he wanted to play for the Cats. That was every playground rat’s dream, so he quickly said yes. However, before he started playing at Clarendon, he put in some practice time in a gravel lot by Gage Park to get used to the “juiced-up” ball used at Clarendon. With that it was softball five nights a week with double headers at Clarendon and Kelly Parks. They played in weekend tournaments, in classic money games, and on Sunday mornings at Lake Shore Park. Jim also played with Sgt Peppers and Butch McGuires in the Rush Street League. Unfortunately Jim’s first appearance in a national tournament with the Bobcats didn’t go as he planned. He and two other players were benched in favor of some ringers brought in for the tournament. The Bobcats lost to the Sobies 10- 0 and Jim’s loyalties quickly changed to the Sobies. He stayed with them a few more years before retiring from softball. 1968 was a life-changing year for Jim. He started his carpenter apprenticeship with Local 10 and met his future wife, Carole Mary. He has since worked as a building inspector for Chicago, was a union steward for the new Comiskey Park (has the first brick from the old park), worked for the Chicago Housing Authority for ten years, and is currently finishing his career as a carpenter for the CTA at the South shops. He and his wife, Carole Mary, have been married forty years and have three sons, Christopher, Adam, and James. Unfortunately, his youngest son and great sports enthusiast, Jim, passed away in 2005. Jim, Sr. dedicates his induction to his sons. He cherishes the memories of all the great games and all the friendships he made because of softball.
Ed “Silver Fox” Miller
Frank Mioni began playing 16-inch softball in the 1970s when he and some friends got a team together for something to do during the summer. Little did he know then how softball would allow him to make friends, establish connections, and open important doors in his life. In fact, he met his wife, Kim, while playing in a co-ed tournament at Grant Park. Frank played with Pegasus in the Chicago Ridge Men’s League and with Pogos at Mann Park on Chicago’s East side. After a brief stint with the Bobcats in 1982, he joined the Budweiser Whips. He then played with Jynx, Lettuce, Sports Channel (Bucks), Licorice/Flash, Puglise, and other teams. As one of the top outfielders of his time, he helped lead Whips and Lettuce to several Forest Park and ASA National titles. He was a versatile hitter who could line a ball through the right center gap, or he could hit a long ball to drive in runners. For his efforts, he was selected the tournament MVP of the 1993 ASA Nationals and tournament MVP at Forest Park while playing for Lettuce. In 1994 he was selected tournament MVP of the USSSA Nationals with Lettuce. But he most remembers when the players of Puglise selected him as their team MVP in 1998. In 1999 he helped lead the Local 281 Sprinkler Fitters to a tournament victory in Cincinnati. The problem? He wasn’t a sprinkler fitter at the time, but that was soon rectified after he completed the apprenticeship and became a full-fledged member of Local 281. Despite his many accomplishments on the field, Frank most remembers the great times with his five sisters and two brothers. Five of his nephews are currently playing softball (one with Jynx). While playing at a tournament in LaCrosse, Wisconsin, a man told Frank’s father that it was always easy to find Frank. Just look for a lot of guys laughing and Frank will be in the middle of them. It’s this camaraderie that has helped him play for as long as he has. Frank and Kim have two children - Nick and Francesca. They live in Chicago Ridge, IL. He is a loyal member of Local 281 Sprinkler Fitters.
Dale “Dale Dog” Mitchell
Dale Mitchell started playing softball on a CYO team in 1966. From 1971 to 1986 he played at Boyce, McGuane, Donavan, and Armor Parks. In 1987 Dale and the Aces won the ASA "A" Tournament in Portage, Indiana. That victory launched a career in Major Softball that would last for another twenty-one years. He would play for the Aces, Crush, the Unknowns, Miller Taggers, Jinx, and the Stickmen, along with at least fifteen other teams. During those twenty-one years, teams Dale played on would compete in and win titles at parks and tournaments around Chicago and the nation. Crush took third place at the USSSA Nationals in Merriville, Indiana in 1990 and took second at the ASA "A" Nationals in Aberdeen, South Dakota. All totaled, his teams won thirteen championships in league and tournament play and were runners-up nine times. In 1994 Dale was selected MVP of the Washington Pak League while playing with Grand Theft. In 1994 he was an All-American player at the ASA Nationals while a member of Crush. Dale played softball seven days a week. When his team didn't have a game, he would find a team that needed an extra player. His high energy and love of the game made him an exciting player to watch. He played mainly left or right field and was such a tenacious fielder that his teammates gave him the nickname "Dale Dog" because he could always chase the ball down. He batted in the top of the order and led his teams most years in doubles and triples. Dale worked for the Chicago Tribune filling newspaper boxes. On Saturdays he would complete his route as early as possible so that he could make the game. When they played in the suburbs, his team would always be on the lookout for that Tribune truck because it meant that Dale was ready to play. He could always be counted on to show up and to play his heart out every game. The softball community lost a real star when Dale passed away in 2010. He is survived by his wife, Irene, five children: Steve, Charlotte, D.J., Robert, and Melanie and five grandchildren - Zachary, Samantha, Sara, Maggie, and Matthew.
Team Mixed Company
What do you get when you take female players from five different softball teams, add some colorful coaches, and mix in some banquet circuit rap and stepping? Well, you get the softball team Mixed Company. Pam Black and Popati Wing are given the credit of naming this eclectic group of ball players. They were a mixture of Mama’s Family, the Spoilers, the Rookies, the Force, and the Trey Nine Slims. Coached by Juan (Swan) Gayden with help from Allen Jenkins, Irby Dunn, and Mike Burns, Mixed Company called Dunbar Park their home. One of their trademarks occurred at banquets when they performed their written routine of step, sharp, and rap, explaining their championships through music and dance. Printed copies of the script can still be found in Chicago today. Like true champions and friends, the members of Mixed Company remained friends throughout the years even after playing against each other in leagues or tournaments. The wonderful memories created at 31st just off Martin Luther King Drive keep them connected today, years after they played their last game as a team.
The Molex team is considered the best team to play in the Western suburbs in the 80's and 90's. They were recognized by the HOF for their longevity, tenacity, and ability. Organized by Jim Geiser in the 70's for employees of the Fortune 500 global connector manufacturer. Joined by new employee and future HOF founder Al Maag in 1978, he helped change the culture of team to be competitive with employees and eventually a few ringers. The Molex brand became well known as they played and won over 30 events/leagues in Naperville, Lisle, Wheaton, Lemont and Woodridge. Instead of playing it safe the team took on the big boys in 90's in Mt Prospect, Clyde and TV Pro League...and all tournies here and in 5 states, even in domes and in the snow. They came in 4th twice in A Nationals and in top ten in 2 Major Nationals. They always finished in top 15 by year's end. They were on a Chevy Truck TV commercial with Ron Santo. They stopped in 2000. They were lead by Bill Stech, Richard Black, Steve Heinol and Al Maag most of those years. Mgr. Maag missed one season. Their teamates who loved to party at White's Tavern were in the 80's and early 90's: John Haase, Mike Miskin, Jim Segredo, Larry Kossack, Duke Orlandino, John Klein, Lee Andrejewski, Dino Petrin, Joe Gucwa, Kevin Muck, Steve Sleboda, Russ Krause, Don Davies, Don Gushurst, Bill Morrow, Jerry Last, and Brian Rhoades. In 90's: John Duraski, Dave Yozze, Danny Mueller, Art Lurie, Kevin Klabor, Dean Colutta, Gino Mardegan, Ron Matriscano, AJ Bevilacqu, Anthony Menolascino, Mike Bellis, Lou Rizzi, Scott Burdick, Gary McLaughlin, Tom Fredrickson, Bob Jost, Rob Schwigert and Bryan McWherter. HLM was a key sponsor over the years.
Pete “Mungo” Monaco
Great teams consist of many factors - great players, loyal fans, dedicated sponsors, and intelligent managers / coaches who weave often diverse personalities into a unified team capable of winning championships. Pete Mungo's efforts represent the pinnacle of success as he played and later managed St. Albert the Great's 16" softball team from 1960 to 1975, winning seven Knights of Columbus State Championships. He also managed the Knights of Columbus All Star Team to five victories; won five 11th Ward Championships, and was selected manager of the year five times. Pete Monaco was born in 1919 and attended Tilden Tech from 1933 - 1937 where he starred in football. His football knowledge proved valuable a few years later when he coached the McGuane Park 12 - 13 year old football team to the Chicago City Championship at Soldier Field in 1970. He also was coach of the championship Monaco Colts semi-pro football team. A list of athletes who have played for Pete Monaco reads like a Whose Who of 16" softball fame. Willie Frencl, Joe Gucwa, Jake Jacobi, Champ Cerna, Willie Simpson, Al Cech, and Ed Zolna have all worn or donned a uniform for Pete Monaco. Besides winning onfield accolades, Pete Monaco has also served his community with his administrative efforts. He was president of the Southside Knights of Columbus for fifteen years and received recognition awards from the Chicago Park District, the Commission on Youth Welfare, and the South Chicago American Legion. Peter and his wife, Francis, live on the Southside of Chicago where he is enjoying his retirement from the Chicago Park District.
Playing his peak years of softball from 1961 to 1987, Jim Moore ranks as one of the top players to emerge on some of the top teams of that era. He began his career in 1964 playing with the Knight Of Columbus and other local Southside teams. He made his jump to big time softball in 1965 playing with the Bobcats, Moore Business Forms, and Alsterda Construction, helping the Bocats to a Chicago Park District championship. 1968 found Jim Moore joining Sobies-American Rivet, a team he stayed with until 1984. With the Sobies, Jim Moore began to rack up championships and All-American honors. They captured titles and league championships in Berwyn and Cicero, at Clarendon, Kelly, and Forest Parks, and in the Andy Frain Tournament. Jim Moore was selected to the ASA All-American Team in St. Louis and in 1975 and 1976 at Hart Stadium. A jouneyman softball player who played very position, including pitcher, Moore was best known as one of the top outfielders of his time. He batted 2nd or 5th and became an accomplished gap hitter with a unique training aid - he placed a 55-gallon drum in left center and practiced hitting that from home plate. A printer for 42 years, Jim Moore has with Lake Book Manufacturing for ten years, and has been president of the printer’s bowling league for 35 years He and his wife, Diane have two children, Ron and Debra and three grandchildren. Besides being one of the top players of his time, Jim Moore also excelled by referring basketball at the high school and junior college levels. He enjoys bowling (carries a 200 plus average for the last twenty years) and is an avid deer and pheasant hunter. After graduating from Tilden Tech where he played basketball and baseball.
After graduating from Rolling Meadows High School in 1976, pitcher Terry Moran embarked on a softball career that was to include key roles on teams that won numerous local, state and national titles. Along the way, he was named to several All American teams, and won batting titles in several different leagues. After starting out with the '76ers, Moran switched to Meadows (1979-'81) where he hit .600 plus each year of his three seasons. In 1982 Moran helped the Miller Taggers finish second at the USSSA World in LaCrosse, Wisconsin, and an Illinois Parks and Recreation State Championship. In 1983, with the Stray Cats, he placed second at the ASA Major Nationals in Harvey. Moran rejoined Meadows in 1984, and his .714 batting average helped them win the Illinois State title. In 1985 Moran was named a First Team ASA Major Nationals All-Star, despite Meadows ninth place finish. That year, Meadows also took a fifth place finish at the USSSA World Tournament at Muncie, Indiana. In 1986 and '87, Meadows won the championship of the Classic League with Moran hitting an astounding .800 in 1986. In 1990, Moran helped the Taggers capture the USSSA World Tournament at Merrillville, Indiana. For his effort, he was selected to the All World First Team. That same season the Taggers played to a fourth place finish at the ASA Majors, as Moran earned his second appearance on the ASA All-American Team. In 1994, playing with the Bud 45's, Moran hit .667 and was Second Team All-American as the 45's took second place at the ASA Nationals. Terry Moran ended his career in 1994 with the Panthers.
Patrick “Paddymo” Moran, Sr
In 1970 Patrick Moran Sr. graduated from Roosevelt High School on the northwest side, where he had been an all-area basketball player and an all-city baseball player. He started his softball career with the Wolves, a team sponsored by a local tavern and managed by Jim Schmidt. Dwarfs Hall of Fame manager Mike McGovern quickly saw Moran's potential and recruited him to play short stop. Over the next 25 years, Pat also played for such prestigious teams as Otto's, the Amalgamonsters, Bud North, Coopers, Meadows, Red Dog, Stray Cats, Blues and March Manufacturing. He helped teams win five Forest Park No Glove tournaments, four Clarendon Park League Championships, two Mt. Prospect League Championships, and finish in the final four ASA Glove Nationals 15 times. Pat also had the honor of playing for such managers as Danny Coco, Bill Cavanaugh, Tim Decker, Rick Burnette, and Hall of Fame managers Dick Cooper, Waly Pecs and Sal Vasta. All along, Moran was known as one of the top defensive players of all time, both shortstop and short center, as well as a class act both on and off the field. During the same period, Pat played in the corporate league in Grant Park for ComEd, a powerhouse team that won three consecutive Tournament of Champions competitions. Pat fondly recalls the time, while playing for Bill Cavanaugh at ComEd , when Janet Davies of WLS TV Sports followed the team through to their ultimate victory in the 1993 Grant Park Tournament of Champions. He also enjoyed the once in a lifetime opportunity of accompanying his entire team to Cancun, Mexico after winning this first place prize. Par has worked for ComEd for 32 years and currently lives in Oak Park with his family.
A three sport star at Mt. Carmel, George went on to play basketball for Marquette University and professionally for the Sheboygan Redskins and the Chicago Bruins. George’s true love, however, was 16” softball. He played for such notable teams as the Golden Clothes and the Jimmy Rose Shamrocks during the 1939 season that included championships at Ogden Park and the 16th Ward Tournament. Morse’s career was interrupted by a 39 month stint in the Army during World War II. After the war, he returned to Chicago and became supervisor of Clarendon Park in 1946. Once on the job, he began a plan .: to make Clarendon the top softball park in the 50’s and 60’s by adding lights, bleachers, and four diamonds. To increase visibility at night, Morse had the balls dyed yellow in the basement of the park. A public address system and scoreboard kept the fans informed. Besides improvement to the field and ball, Morse instituted other changes to add an air of professionalism to Chicago’s game. First, a player was not allowed to enter the meticulously groomed field if he was not fully dressed in his team’s uniform. Second, Morse instituted rules changes. The base distance was increased from 45 to 50 feet, pitchers were allowed to take a drag step from the mound and perhaps the most progressive rule, he instituted the now universal third strike foul ball rule. These changes altered the face of softball forever and brought the top teams to Clarendon Park. Under Morse’s direction, Clarendon hosted two ASA Nationals and the prestigious Andy Frain Tournament. Fan reaction was tremendous. On many nights more people watched softball at Clarendon than saw the Cubs play during the day or the Sox that evening. In 1969 Morse assembled the Carlucci Bobcat team that went on to win the ASA National Championship. He returned in 1970-71 to manage them to two more national championships. Morse will always be remembered as one of the top managers and innovators in 16” softball history.
Sol “Muzzi” Mosillami
Gene “Moz” Mozdzierz
Gene Mozdzierz grew up in the Bucktown neighborhood of Chicago around Bloomingdale and Hermitage. He started his sixty-two year plus softball career when Father Jim Grzybowski from St. Mary's of the Angels, who also played in the Windy City league, started teams for students in the seventh and eight grades. When is was time to go to high school, he took his baseball talents to Lane Tech where he played shortstop and helped Lane to a second place finish in the city high school league. He started playing competitive softball at Thillen's Stadium with the Chi-Orioles club and the Northtown Vaults when he was just fifteen. In 1945 they took second place at Thillen's and in 1946 the Chi-Orioles won the Harold-American title when they defeated the Southside Cardinals. He then went on to play against such legendary teams as Midland Motors, Kool Vent Awnings, Monica Orioles, Ma's Tavern, Wrightwood Park and Martin Jewelers. He played periodically with teams sponsored by Congressman Dan Rostenkowski. The Chi-Orioles and the Rostenkowski teams captured twenty-five plus league titles. During his forty-four year playing career, teams he played on won 833 games against only 168 losses. He played shortstop for forty-four seasons (from 1945 to 1988) and was known for his speed and outstanding defensive skills. He batted leadoff for most of his teams for most of his career. Besides playing softball, Gene Mozdzierz also played semi-pro baseball. His baseball team, the Kolski-Boosters, won six league titles, a state title, and finished seventh in nationals during a twelve year span (1952 - 1963). Since 1989 to the present, he has managed, pitched, and played shortstop for the Chicago "Lite" Seniors, a 12-inch softball team. He is a semi-retired independent painter. He and his wife, Nana Lee, live in Addison, Illinois. They have four children (Gina, Joy, Donna, and Tom) and three grandchildren (William, Courtney, and Shayne). He thanks his sponsors for the Chi-Lite seniors, Terry and Kathy Mullarkey.
At 5'10" and 210 muscular pounds, Ed Mulligan was one of the most feared hitters in softball during the 1960s. Teamed with Kenneth Allen in the 1960s, he hit many legendary home runs - one measured more than 300 feet. A ball player of unequaled strength and power, he also played into the 1970s with the Flamingos and Percy Coleman. A Vietnam veteran, Ed Mulligan stands as a testimony as one of the top softball players during the 1960s and 70s. Since Deceased.
After a record-breaking baseball career at Illinois State University and two professional seasons with the Los Angeles Dodgers, Frank Mustari focused his talents on 16-inch softball when he joined his neighborhood friends on Custom Tape. His talents were quickly noticed and Ken Cooper added him to the Cooper’s Sporting Goods roster. With Frank at shortstop, Coopers would become one of the dominant teams of their era and Frank would become one of the most sought after shortstops of that era. During the late 1980s, Frank joined Bud North and helped them to three consecutive Forest Park No Glove championships. Bud North was loaded with future Hall of Fame members Ken Cooper, John O’Connor, Tom Czarnik, Ken Flaws, Buddy Dorskin, and Mark Frighetto. In 1991, with the help of Ken Cooper and Al McFarlane, Frank started Splinters Sports Club, arguably one of the best teams in 16-inch softball. As player/coach, Frank led the team on the field and from the bench. These efforts produced an ASA title in Arizona, the first such title by a North side team. From 1993 to 1995, Frank brought his talents to Rick Melman’s Lettuce. He helped Lettuce to a national title in the 1993 Nationals and Marshalltown, Iowa. During that tournament, he won the batting title, the home run title, and was named tournament MVP. After lettuce, he rejoined Splinters and led them to a national championship in 1997. He also helped the Rizza Rockers win a Forest Park title. To finish out his softball career, Frank joined Bob Rascia and the 45s, a team that dominated the softball scene and won numerous national titles. Frank was a member of teams that won eight Forest Park titles and six ASA National championships. Personally he was named to the First Team All Mt. Prospect League; he won one ASA Major Home Run titles and two ASA Major Batting titles; he was an ASA Second Team All-American and was selected eight times as an ASA First Team All- American. Frank would like to thank all of the great sponsors that he played for throughout his career, specifically Dick Cooper, Rich Melman, Lane Nieman, and the best sponsor he ever teamed with - Al Mc Farlane and Splinters Sports Club. He also had special thanks for his great teammates Rick Gancarz, Jeff Berger, Ken Flaws, Israel Sanchez, Tom Czarnik, Ken Cooper, John O’Connor, Angelo Alesia, and Jim Matlock. He offers special thanks to his brother Dan Mustari and his defensive partner and dear friend, Tony Prochenski. Most importantly, he would like to thanks his wife and number one fan, Karin, who cheered him on at every game he played. He thanks his sons, Justin, Jeff, and Matty, his parents, Art and Elaine Mustari, and his in-laws, Bob and Hedy Clausen. Unfortunately, Bob passed away, but he would be thrilled to see Frank inducted into the Hall of Fame.