Charles Martinkus grew up in Chicago’s West Lawn area and attended Bogan High School. He graduated in 1963 and was awarded “Most Physically Fit Senior”. While at Bogan, Charles won an intramural softball championship, which ignited his love for sixteen-inch softball and led to his playing in various Southwest side park leagues the next two years. He played on a team that won a championship in Lawler Park.
After enlisting in the Air Force in 1965, he played one season of twelve-inch fast pitch softball for the Air Force. Charles spent eighteen months in Vietnam as a security policeman. Upon discharge in 1969, he went to work at Continental Bank in Chicago, which developed two very good softball teams. One competed as a Major team and one played as a “B” team. Charles played on this team for seven years.
That Continental “B” team recorded a sixty-four game regular season plus playoff win streak while winning six straight titles in the Grant Park Industrial League. Charles also played for the Mini Brutes softball team, playing in a number of leagues in parks on the Southwest Side of Chicago.
In 1975 Charles Joined the Gamma Photo team in the Grant Park Advertising League, helping them win a Championship in 1985. He was voted to three League All Star teams during his eleven years there. Also during this period Charles helped form the “SMOKE” softball team that won nine fall league championships and one summer league championship at Terminal Park in Skokie. The “SMOKE” team also won a “B” league championship at Dee Park in DesPlaines, two championships at Beherns Park in Elmhurst, and one fall league title at Lions Park in Villa Park.
Charles was also a member of the Gannons team that won the league title at Horner Park in Chicago in 2005 and the Waterworks/Mother Hubbards team that won Lake Shore Park championship in Chicago in 2006.
A lifetime 600 – plus average spray hitter and outfielder who primarily played left field, Charles was known for going all out for any ball in the air and often made spectacular diving catches.
He is retired and lives in Elmhurst with his loving and understanding wife, Susan.