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WILD BUNCH

Wildbunch! Wildbunch! Wildbunch! was the chant started by a group of young men who spent their youth playing basketball and 16-inch softball, on the courts and diamonds at the neighborhood playgrounds, practicing good sportsmanship, and cultivating friendships that have lasted a lifetime. They lived on the 2600, 2700, and 2800 blocks of West Jackson, Adams, …

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CUTTY / BABES

Originally named Cutty when they formed in 1982, the team name was changed to Babes after Babes Tavern in Niles, Illinois. The tavern was owned by Gary Pearson, a Chicago police officer who sponsored, managed and played for the 24 years the team played together. In 1984, Mike Caliendo joined the team as a starting …

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ANTHONY “BANG” BALDWIN

Known by his colleagues as Bang or Big 50, Anthony brings laughter, joy, passion, and a strong sense of loyalty to Solutions that can’t be matched. One of the “founding fathers” of Solutions in 2004, Bang coaches 1st base, helping the team on their way to 30 championships: 5 ASA / VSA National Championships, 7 …

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Bandits

The Bandits were formed in 1976 in Washington Park with players from the Citywide Post Office League. They played in the More Softball League, sponsored by Budweiser Beer, which had 26 teams participating. In their first year they played for the championship, and the following season were undefeated in 22 games to win the championship. …

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Blues

Sal Vasta (HOF), founder and manager of the Blues softball team, was introduced to 16-inch softball in 1969 on Chicago’s Northwest Side through the CYO program. His involvement in the program made him realize the unity of playing Chicago’s great game. He began the Blues softball team in 1969, playing in various parks around Chicago. …

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Danny Brichetto

Danny Brichetto started playing softball in the late 70’s on the North Side of Chicago at Kelvyn, Kosciuszko, Indian Rd., and Portage Parks. He was a center fielder who could hit to the gaps with power. Playing in a Sunday league at Kelvyn Park, the umpire, Al Hensel, asked him to play on his team …

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Don Bianchi

Don (Donny) Bianchi threw his first 16-inch softball at Portage Park in the early 1960s. He used to watch his father played there, so he grabbed a yellow Clincher and brought it to the sandlot field in Niles. Donny and his buddies played 16-inch there because not everyone had a mitt, and the windows were …

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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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Jeff Berger

Jeff Berger’s sixteen-inch softball career began in 1986 with the Otters. The next year he moved to the Rizza Rockers. Teammates and competitors soon noticed his incredible softball skills, but more importantly, he started showing his leadership skills on and off the field. After years of honing his skills with the Peppers, Irvings, Bud Runners, …

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Bidayos

The Bidayo’s women’s softball team started out as a local Oak Lawn in-house team in 1969. They were originally the Road Runners in the Oak Lawn Park District, but Karen Wagner renamed them the Bidayos around 1975. Ron Hurry has been at the helm of the Bidayos as manager since 1969 when he managed his …

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