Don DeBat

A veteran newspaper reporter and editor, Don DeBat covered business and real estate at the Chicago Daily News and Chicago Sun Times for 26 years. However, DeBat says the most fun he had during his newspaper was the two seasons he spent on the Daily News sports desk as a nightshift copy editor and author of a weekly column on 16″ slow-pitch softball. Encouraged by famed Daily News columnist and softball pitcher Mike Royko, DeBat wrote about great teams of the 1970s, the Windy City Leagues of the 1930s and 1940s, and the colorful traditions of the 112 year old game that has become a subculture in Chicago. Yarns about Bobby Lamont’s “dump hitting,” skills, Clarendon Park’s “juiced ball,” and diagrams showing novices how to hit a softball using the “Chicago shuffle” were column highlights. In 1976, DeBat wrote about one of softball’s greatest organizers – Ron “Beetlebomb” Braasch – and captured first place in the Amateur Softball Association’s national sports – writing competition. DeBat, 55, is married to Realtor Sara Benson, and has two young sons, Don and Herb, who aspire to play high school softball. DeBat runs a successful real estate public relations firm with his daughter Aimee, writes a syndicated real estate column, and plays twice a week on “Risk,” his saloon- league team with his oldest son, Erik, a graphic designer.