Like many young people growing up in the inner city of Chicago, Dennis Colucci sought activities that were affordable and could be played in the streets and parks of Chicago. Sixteen-inch softball fit that requirement perfectly. He started playing organized softball in 1956 with the Jokers, a neighborhood team from Chicago Avenue. He became their starting shortstop and batted in the middle of the lineup. The Jokers entered tournaments at Humboldt, Garfield, and LaFollette Parks and won champions at these parks year-after-year.
They continued their success at local tournaments as they took a step up in1958, entering major league softball at Kells Park located at Chicago and Kedzie. In their first year at Kells, they made it into the finals. Dennis continued as shortstop and batted third with an average over.500. He also entered the Jokers in tournaments at other parks, so the team would often play an early game and then rush to Kells Park for a night game under the lights. While this arrangement presented difficulties, they benefitted from the increased competition. The Jokers also played in and won the John Marcin Elimination Tournament which consisted of 16 park district Championship teams from the North side.
Dennis played with the Jokers until 1963 when he joined the Rogues. For the next four years, he played shortstop and batted in the middle of the lineup. The Rogues played Class “A” softball at Kells, Clarendon, and many other parks. If there was a tournament, the Rogues played in it. They won a “sweet” victory in the Andy Frain Tournament in 1966 when they defeated the Bobcats 8-5 for the championship at Waveland Park. Dennis went “three for three” plus a walk and drove in two runs. He also played in park tournaments with Hogan’s Heroes and the Stompers.
Over the years, Dennis played with Hall of Famers Frank Lentine, Billy Masucci, Ken Furlanetto, Vito Maggerise, Bob Garippo, Mike Mareno, Dennis Andristis, and Charley “Missy” Micelli.
Dennis and his wife, Nancy, live in Oak Brook, Illinois. They have two children – James and Joseph, daughter-in-law Melissa, and their pride & joy, five-year-old granddaughter Macy.