Carl Maniscalco’s softball career spanned over twenty-five years, beginning when he was in grade school. Although he attended Queen of Angels Elementary School, he was frequently found at the playground of Waters Elementary School starting in the 1970s. It is there that he found his love of softball. This love continued through his high school years. When he was not starring as an “All – Area” basketball player at Gordon Tech High School, he could be found playing softball for the Stooges, Rox, and with friends on other teams in men’s leagues throughout the Chicago area. Upon graduating from Gordon Tech High School in 1976, Carl played point guard for coach Dick Versace at both Jackson Community College and Bradley University.
After college, Carl returned to Chicago and continued to play softball with the Jets, Fusion, and Storm. During these years, Carl won several neighborhood tournaments and league championships, starting at short-center and shortstop and as the “table setter” in the lineup. In 1989, Carl joined the Blues and manager Sal Vasta (HOF). They won the USSSA Nationals by defeating the Whips. He then joined the legendary Dick Cooper (HOF) to win two Mt. Prospect Classic League titles. In 1994, Carl was reunited with Sal Vasta and for the next three years, Carl helped them win the 1994 ASA National title with Hollywood Casino, the 1995 Forest Park No-Gloves Nationals with Thee Dollhouse, (in a thrilling nine-inning victory over Rich Melman’s Lettuce) and the 1996 Grant Park Tournament with Sportschannel. In 1997, Carl joined Ron Kubicki (HOF) and Stan Patek (HOF) of Pugliese. In 1998, they won the ASA Illinois State championship and in 1999 they defeated Lettuce to clinch the ASA Major Nationals title. It was during this time that softball became a family event for the Maniscalcos.
Carl hung up his bat and glove in 2000 and moved his focus to coaching his sons in basketball at Queen of Saints Elementary School and at St. Patrick High School. He continues to coach with the Illinois Wolves AAU team and at GordonTechnical High School. In 2010, Carl was inducted into the Illinois Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame for his basketball career.
Currently, Carl is an S&P Options Broker at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, a position he has held for over thirty years. When he isn’t working, he spends time with his wife of thirty-five years, Coyla, and their three sons and daughter-in-law, Jack (Allison Pawlicki), Anthony, and Sam.
Softball gave Carl an outlet for his fierce competitiveness, but just as important, if not more so, allowed him to build lifelong friendships with his teammates and managers.