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LEE “MERTZ” FRY

Lee grew up on Chicago’s South Side neighborhood of Auburn Gresham. He excelled as a sprinter on the track team at Brother Rice High School and earned a full athletic scholarship at Loyola, with numerous Division 1 titles during his career. After college, softball became his passion and his athletic talent helped him excel at …

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Keith “Pin” Filkins

Keith Filkins started playing sixteen-inch softball in 1986 with the Cougars. For the next thirty years, he played for some of the greatest softball teams of all time – Sports Station, the Whips, Lettuce, Team 714, Splinters, Puglise / Bucks, Flashback, Windy City, and the Millers 45s. He has played every infield position and has …

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Joe “Moms” Firneno

Joe Firneno has been playing sixteen-inch softball for more than fifty-five years (and he just recently turned sixty-five). Some players say he still plays with the enthusiasm and passion of a twenty-five year old. Joe began playing softball in the alleys and streets around 80th and Peoria on the South Side of Chicago. In 1964, …

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Forest Park Review

For over twenty – years, the Forest Park Review has published a special pull out section for the No-Gloves National 16 – Inch Softball Tournament. This pullout allows softball fans from the city, suburbs, and surrounding states to get information on the No-Glove Nationals. It also helps fans understand the excitement of 16 – inch …

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Jack “Swifty” Flynn

In his 2001 biography of Mike Royko, Richard Ciccone quotes Tim Weigel saying that he was disappointed that Royko became a pitcher because according to Weigel “there’s no such thing as a good pitcher.” Although Weigel was a Yale graduate, starting halfback on their football team, and a legendary local sportscaster, apparently he hadn’t been …

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Justin Fortuna

Justin Fortuna’s softball career spanned forty years. He played with the Bobcats at Clarendon, Kosciusko, and Kelly Parks. He was a member of the Dr. Carlucci Bobcats when they won the ASA World Championship from 1969 to 1972. He was instrumental in coordinating the North Side Bobcats with Eddie Zolna’s (HOF) South Side Bobcats in …

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FORCE

FORCE women’s sixteen-inch softball team evolved under the leadership of Coach and Founder, Allen Jenkins in 1979. This team of talented women from all neighborhoods of Chicago and the suburbs initially played at Garfield, Columbus, Franklin and Cabrini Parks. Season after season, FORCE dominated play and won league championships at these parks. As the team …

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Flamingoes

Great traditions often start with a simple mission and passion.  The Flamingos, a world famous African-American sixteen-inch softball team, believed this to be true when they sought out the best softball teams to play “anytime and anywhere.” Under the expert coaching and organizing of Percy Coleman, the Flamingos became such a force in softball on …

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Albert E. Fegan

Albert Fegan was born in Chicago in 1901. When he was a young man, he was offered a job by George Young at the George Young Plant and Company. Founded in 1893, the company, located on Western Avenue in Chicago, manufactured baseball and softballs. On July 21, 1925 at twenty-four years of age, Albert was …

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Team Flames

The Flames are a North side team formed in 1974 out of Fireside Bowl by Tom Nagy. Thirty-six years later they are still together and still winning. They are a Chicago Park District team that played only at Chicago’s neighborhood parks. On weekends, they entered various tournaments, mainly to win the prize money.  Over their …

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