Claude Rhodes

Veterans of the many softball wars on the Southside remember Claude Rhodes as a superb player who was also the youngest player on his neighborhood team in the early 1930s. Claude was a top notch short center, also known as the “roving center.” During World War II he remained the youngest player because everyone his age went off to fight the war. Claude had a brief period away from the Windy City. Upon his return he began to manage the Safari Tigers. His love of the game and excellent management skills were obvious because the Safari Tigers played in all the major tournaments. They went to the nationals for nine straight years and became the only black team to win the Winners Bracket in 1984 and 1985. They were second place in those years only to the World Champion Whips and Touch. He is still involved with the Clique team. Claude’s contributions to the world of 16″ softball will be remembered by those persons close to the Southside game.