Bob Ancona

In his notes to his biography, Bob Ancona says this about 16-inch softball “The greatest thing is that this is a Chicago game. Anyone who grew up in Chicago has played the game. It’s a great game whether it’s played at a picnic, recreational park district league or at the highly competitive national championship level.” Besides great players, Chicago’s game also needs great organizers to create the leagues, tournaments, and championships. Of these organizers, Ancona and his Mt. Prospect Park District rank near the top. In 1982 Ancona with Rick Pyle and Jack Olson created the Classic League, which is now the longest running major division 16-inch league in Chicago. Besides organizing it, Bob Ancona served as the league director from 1982 to 1998. From 1985 to 1998 Ancona was the District Commissioner for the A.S.A. and from 1985 to 1998 he was Tournament Director for the ASA Championship, hosting the tournament seven times. In addition to these directorships, Ancona was also director for the A.S.A. Men’s Major Division National Championship, the A.A.A. Women’s National Championship, and Tournament Director for the A.S.A. Illinois tournament. Bob’s three greatest memories include the second place finish for Dick Cooper’s team, the 1997 Splinters championship, and the friendship of Tom O’Neill, Joe Hoffman, and Terry Reilly. Besides softball, Ancona also coached wrestling and placed in state and national competitions in freestyle wrestling. He thanks his professional staff at the Mt. Prospect Park District for their hard work in making Mt. Prospect one of the finest softball complexes in softball today. Their efforts have brought Chicago’s game back to Chicago!