1993-Current

Dennis Gardner

As a young boy, Dennis traveled from park to park watching his Dad (Ron) play everynight. He and his brother Bob would run the bases after each game and slide into home plate just like their Dad. Although their Mom wasn’t thrilled with the dirty clothes, she knew they both loved this game! Fresh out …

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Joe Dooley

What became a lifetime passion, began as a fun pastime playing with family and friends. After wrapping up successful Varsity Baseball and Football careers at Leyden Township High School, Joe developed a serious interest in 16” Softball in the mid-1980s. To this day, he treas- ures his early Schiller Park “Shot” and Brooks Park “Shooters” …

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Bob Russ Jr.

Bobby Russ Jr. started his sixteen-inch softball career in the late 1980s with two Northwest Side neighborhood teams – the Levee and the Jackmen. Both teams had a number of HOF players on their roster. He played baseball and basketball at Weber High School from 1981 to 1985. He received a scholarship to play baseball …

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Larry Downes

Larry Downes’s softball journey began at Grant Park about 1968 where his Dad’s Continental Bank team played hundreds of games during his childhood. His Mom would take him downtown on the CTA bus to watch. He would watch them play in the ‘Pit’ at Grant Park. While the games were going on, he would pitch …

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Howard Blakely

Raised on the south side of Chicago, Howard Blakey’s softball career started as a member of the Masterpiece softball team in the late’70’s. During the 80’s and 90’s he played with the Flamingos, B Athletes and Bandits. Considered a top infielder in the league, Howard was known for his strong and accurate arm that could …

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Ronnie Matrisciano

Ronnie Matrisciano began his sixteen-inch softball career playing pickup games with his brother Robert and the neighborhood kids on the playground of Emmett Grammar School on the corner of Madison and Central on Chicago’s West Side. His father, Santino, played in the legendary Chicago/ Kedzie League, so his father and brother taught Ronnie all about …

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Israel Sanchez

  Israel Sanchez was born in Falcon Lasvias, Cuba in 1962. He came to the United States when he was six and attended Von Steuben High School. He played sixteen-inch softball for the Thrashers, Red Dog, the 45s, Windy City, and Sage at parks throughout the Chicago area. He was selected MVP at Forest Park …

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Dave “Rulie” Ruehl

  In his twenty-five years playing sixteen-inch softball, Dave Ruehl played with some of the top teams of his time, including the Meister Brau Taggers, Whips, Lettuce, Red Dog, and Licorice. As a shortstop, Dave was selected as an All-Time Team shortstop in the Mt. Prospect League. He was the 1990 Forest Park No Glove …

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Danny Jalowiec

  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 …

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