Dale “Dale Dog” Mitchell

     Dale Mitchell started playing softball on a CYO team in 1966. From 1971 to 1986 he played at Boyce, McGuane, Donavan, and Armor Parks. In 1987 Dale and the Aces won the ASA “A” Tournament in Portage, Indiana. That victory launched a career in Major Softball that would last for another twenty-one years. He would play for the Aces, Crush, the Unknowns, Miller Taggers, Jinx, and the Stickmen, along with at least fifteen other teams. During those twenty-one years, teams Dale played on would compete in and win titles at parks and tournaments around Chicago and the nation. Crush took third place at the USSSA Nationals in Merriville, Indiana in 1990 and took second at the ASA “A” Nationals in Aberdeen, South Dakota. All totaled, his teams won thirteen championships in league and tournament play and were runners-up nine times. In 1994 Dale was selected MVP of the Washington Pak League while playing with Grand Theft. In 1994 he was an All-American player at the ASA Nationals while a member of Crush. Dale played softball seven days a week. When his team didn’t have a game, he would find a team that needed an extra player. His high energy and love of the game made him an exciting player to watch. He played mainly left or right field and was such a tenacious fielder that his teammates gave him the nickname “Dale Dog” because he could always chase the ball down. He batted in the top of the order and led his teams most years in doubles and triples. Dale worked for the Chicago Tribune filling newspaper boxes. On Saturdays he would complete his route as early as possible so that he could make the game. When they played in the suburbs, his team would always be on the lookout for that Tribune truck because it meant that Dale was ready to play. He could always be counted on to show up and to play his heart out every game. The softball community lost a real star when Dale passed away in 2010. He is survived by his wife, Irene, five children: Steve, Charlotte, D.J., Robert, and Melanie and five grandchildren – Zachary, Samantha, Sara, Maggie, and Matthew.