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. This was just the beginning of a successful 22 year history in 16” softball in and around Chicagoland. They also competed in the strong Mt. Prospect and Blue Island leagues, memorably beating both the Whips and the Torch teams in a double header one night in Blue Island in the 80’s.
Along with winning championships in Washington Park, they were champions in Tuley, Hamilton and Grand Crossing Parks. They also won against top teams (Flashes, Safari, Wild Bunch, Gambles and Posse) in the Cocktail League tournaments.. In a qualifying tournament played in Washington Park where close to 50 teams were playing, they beat a strong Flamingo (HOF) team to earn a spot in Marshalltown, Iowa.
Competing in National Championship Playoffs in Blue Island and in Marshalltown Iowa, the Bandits were consistent winners over their 22 year wining history with a core roster. Over the years they also had 17 players and coaches that participated with the Bandits honored by the Hall of Fame. These players showed great passion for Chicago 16” Softball, earning this recognition as players, managers, coaches, organizers and umpires.
The Bandits alumni roster includes: Brian Bennett, Calvin Jackson (HOF), Coty Jackson, Adell Copeland, Eugene Thompson, Vernon Cade, Leroy White, Edward Porter, Howard Blakeley (HOF), Glenn Howard, Robert Thompson, Charles Thompson, Sylvester Thompson, Jesse Mack (HOF), Larry McKinsey, Tremel Adams, Gabe Bridges, Marvin Woods, Joe Hickman, Rick Monday (HOF), William Johnson (HOF), Dwain Spivey, Tyrone Lee, Larry Washington (HOF), Sherman Nelson (HOF), Vincent Sterling, Gerald Dillard, Austin Ware (HOF), Tom Jackson, Phillip Williams (HOF), Thornton Lee (HOF), Lonnie Brigham, Emeral Smith, Edward Thompson, Gene Gray, Keith Haywood, Rodney Carew, Donald Sanders, Ron Mack, Floyd Glover (HOF), Monroe Banks, Larry Dantlly (HOF), Jerry Bausley, Eric Smith, James Melton (HOF), Nathaniel Peete, Leonard Cary, Pablo Adams, James Thompson, Willie Watson, Larry Stamps, John Frencher, Fish Talley, Henry Currie (HOF), Raymond Johnson (HOF), Hank Kemp (HOF), Willie Poole Kemp (HOF), Sam Taylor (HOF), Saul Hall, Charles Kline and Big Juice.