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 daughter Laurie’s 8-10 year-old team. As the girls got older, they started playing on the Oak Lawn Park District traveling team. It was at these other tournaments that Ron started adding and subtracting players from other park district teams. He then entered the team into other leagues. The core of the team played for the Bidayo’s for twenty-plus years. Vince & Betty Kadich and Jim and Judy Wadas were loyal assistant coaches to Ron.
When Chrissy Londos, the oldest player on the team, turned eighteen, Ron entered them in the highly competitive women’s leagues at Blue Island, Calumet Park, Calumet City, Oak Lawn, Crestwood, and Alsip. Around this time, the Bidayos’s pitcher left the team. Ron had been training his daughter, Sheryl, to pitch. He set up milk crates on the sidewalk and had her practice hitting the milk crates for inside and outside strikes. Once Sheryl joined the team, she remained their pitcher for twenty-five years.
The Bidayos played in leagues and tournaments all over Chicago and the surrounding suburbs. Ron wanted to compete against Rose & Crown and the Angels (both HOF honored teams) because in his words ” you have to play the best to be the best.” All of this paid off for the team because they became the dominant women’s softball team in the Chicago land area from the late 80’s thru 90’s.
” Offense wins games but defense wins championships.” This quote appeared on the back of one of the Bidayos jerseys. Its message propelled the Bidayos into the finals of many tournaments through the 80s and 90s and into 2000s. Ron had an unbelievable amount of dedication and patience to coach such a diverse group of young ladies. He was a master at shuffling lineups, making key defensive/offensive changes and keeping the whole team grounded as they began to realize how well they could play the game of softball as a team.
Over the course of the Bidayos’ reign over women’s softball, they won ten league titles, the Grant Park Tournament seven times, and won fifteen tournaments, including the prestigious ASA and USSSA Metro titles.
Although players have retired, their years spent together in competition and their willingness to work together have created lifelong friendships. The respect each Bidayo player has for Ron and for their coaches and opponents reflects their dedication and determination to honor the game of sixteen-inch softball.
Bidayo core players include, Laurie Hurry, Sheryl Hurry, Chrissy Londos, Rosie Geraci (HOF), Coni Treantafales, Monica Skrowronski (HOF), Kim Panozzo (HOF), Renee Strasser (HOF), Allison Bernier, Erin Maloney , Laura Rucinski, Julie Ruscinski, Angie Opel, Nancy Kickert, Sue Hyzny and Laura Wadas
The Bidayos thank Ron for his guidance, knowledge, self-sacrifice and support throughout the years. Without him, they would never have achieved this great honor.
Bidayo Players Throughout the Years