Auggie Ruff

Imagine a time before television and video recorders, cellular telephones, videotaped replays, and widespread radio coverage of sporting events. Now add to that mix the popularity of local boxing matches, basketball games, and the emergence of 16-inch softball as a spectator sport that sometimes drew more fans than the Chicago Cubs. The task for the sportswriters of those eras was to recreate the color and action of these games for their readers. Of those writers, Auggie Ruff emerged as one of the top writers of all time. Born on August 31, 1906, Ruff graduated from Mt. Carmel High School in 1923. He played high school basketball, football, and baseball and played basketball in the semi-pro industrial leagues. Auggie’s strength, however, was# found in writing about these events. Auggie was a sportswriter and editor for the Daily Calumet, a paper at the time that can be compared to the Daily Herald of today. Readers remember Auggie’s great narrative talent that captured the excitement and drama of the classic softball matches of the time. Auggie covered such great teams as the Brown Bombers, the Gas House Gang, Lapota Steelers, Midland Motors and countless others. He also covered the many “pot games” between such teams as the Baltimore Lumber and Lombardi Kids. When Auggie retired after many years with the Daily Calumet, the great writer Leo Fisher emceed the gala that included the top sportswriters of the time. 16-inch softball owes a tip of the bat to Auggie’s many contributions to the game. Auggie is 93 years old and lives in Chicago.