Don Magnuson

Don Magnuson grew up on the Northside of Chicago and attended Amundsen High School where he excelled in athletics. He served in the Navy from 1943 to 1946 before returning to Chicago to continue his softball career. He played for the Ravenswood Merchants and Cheri-Ami Lounge at Winnemac Park, helping lead them to several championships. He was a versatile player who could play any position and was known as a feared power hitter and long ball hitter. Although he could hit to all fields, he especially liked hitting to the hole in right-center field. He once had a string of eighteen hits, with sixteen of them as homeruns to the hole in right-center. He joined the Alderman Hoellen team at Welles Park where he joined Hall of Fame manager Santo “Doc” Scavuzzo and played with Hall of Famers Kenny Speirs, Davy Arnoux, and Larry Coutre. They dominated play at Welles for years and then played at Clarendon Park and the park at Chicago and Kedzie. He also played with Nortown Check Cashers. In 1959 he moved to Northbrook and ended his days of playing major softball. He continued playing when he joined the Allen Catering-Glenview House team in the Glenview Adult League. During a ten year span from 1960 to 1970, the team posted a record of 110 – 12 and were league champions seven times and tournaments champions five times. He was the most feared hitter in the league, hitting many tape measure homeruns. Teammates remember him as true “cleanup hitter.” Defensively, he was unmatched at third base. Don graduated from Bradley University in Peoria. He was a steel salesman who owned his own company for fifteen years. After retiring from softball, he became a skilled handball player and won several YMCA tournaments throughout Chicago and the suburbs. Unfortunately Don passed away in 2007. His wife of thirty-three years, Jean, passed away in 1985. They are survived by their children, Richard, Dwight, and Donna and five grandchildren.