Al Maag

Watch any softball game and you’ll see fans marveling at the base clearing homerun, the split second calls at first base, and the diving grab that stifles a late inning rally. What you won’t see, however, is much attention being played to the organizer, the person who recruited the team, entered the tournaments, and made sure all the players got to the game on time (a task much more difficult than it seems). In modern softball, Al Maag was one of the top organizers whose talents added incredible dimensions to 16inch softball. Al Maag began his career playing pick-up softball games at Farnsworth School on Chicago’s Northwest side. Eventually Al Maag organized this group of pick-up players into the Baggers, a tough neighborhood team that eventually competed in some of the main softball events in the 60’s and 70’s. Maag’s organizing talent became apparent early when he put together the Bagger Tourney in 1969, featuring some of the top high school and college age players. After the Baggers disbanded, Al became the manager of Molex, one of the top west suburban teams competing in major tournaments and won 2 Chicagoland Industrial championships. In 2000 Al Maag moved to Phoenix, Arizona and began organizing games for his new employer, Avnet Inc. He has organized two Avnet 12inch tourneys with over 40 men’s and coed teams. He is also responsible for bringing 16 inch softball to Tempe, Arizona, running 4 annual events Business to Business venues with 24 plus events. Besides his talents as an organizer, Al Maag’s other talents have benefitted16″ softball. He was art director for four years of Windy City Softball, an ASA award-winning magazine. In 1993 he released videotape on the history of softball. Maag researched, wrote, produced, and filmed what is the first and only video history of Chicago’s great game with Tom Tillisch. Because of this effort, Al is known as a historian on softball and has been interviewed by WTTW and Sports Illustrated on questions about softball. Al Maag’s greatest accomplishment, however, might have occurred in 1995 when he co-founded the 16” Softball Hall of Fame. The Hall of Fame is dedicated to honoring the great players of the past and in spreading the word of this great game to the next generation of players. Al organized and marketed the first awards dinner, getting together in one room some great sports marketers and some of the great players of all time. Along with Mike North, Maag is also responsible for convincing the Chicago Public Schools to add 16 inch softball as a competitive high school sport. He was also involved in the development of the this website. He continues to organize tournies in Arizona.