Blue Island’s Centennial Park was dedicated in the 1930s by the Park District. In 1939 the Citry of Blue Island opened a new ballpark at 123rd and Western in front of three thousand spectators. In 1963 the Blue Island Park District purchased the ballpark and renamed the stadium Hart Park after Mayor John M. Hart. With this acquisition Hart and Centennial Parks began to carve out their place in 16-inch softball history. From league play to hosting national tournaments, these fields showcased some of the best men’s and women’s teams in softball history, and they watched as players who were just starting out learned to play this game so uniquely identified with the Chicago area.