Don Savage has been a member of a sixteen-inch softball team for seventy- eight years, from 1935 to the end
of the 2013 season. His teams have won more that forty championships and Don has played in or managed
in approximately thirty-five senior leagues at parks throughout Chicago and the suburbs
Don attended St. Philomena
Elementary School and Kelvyn Park High School on Chicago’s North Side. He attended Ford College and the Freight Traffic College. In 1939, his team, the TNTs (short for dynamite), defeated the Hawks to win the Mozart Park championship in front of more than eight hundred spectators. In 1944 he won the Northtown batting title. In 1944 and 1945, St Philomena won the CYO Senior League title, defeating a South Side team loaded with Windy City players. Saint Philomena was led by brothers Bob (HOF) and Lou Werderitch and Don.
In 1947, they lost in the city semi-finals to an Adduci team that included such legendary softball players
and Hall of Fame members as Nick Branman, Whitey Maytag, Nick Pierucci and many others. Don played
at Northtown, Kosciuszko, LaFollette, and Mozart parks, the top parks in the early days of softball. In the early 1940s and 1950s, Don’s teams always enjoyed competing against some of softball’s legendary players at Mozart Park. In 1973 he arrived at Independence Park
at the last minute. He learned that his team was a man short, so he played with his right wrist in a cast. He had two hits and a walk to help the Bakers win the championship.
Don has been running a golf tournament out of Mozart Park for sixty-seven years. It started in 1946 with his softball players and has grown each year. He is also a member
of the “Ye Old Has-Bens Club” that meets annually at Hawthorne Park. He has organized many trips to Notre Dame and Bears football games and Cubs games. For fifteen years he has participated in the Six-County Senior Games and the Chicago Senior Games, winning over 150 awards in various sports and competitions.
Don thanks Bill Muellner, his first manager (and Chicago Cardinal player), who in 1935 got him involved in the game. He also thanks Mugs Molley at Wildwood Park and Hall of Famers Mike Coyne and Joe Umana for keeping him involved in softball for the past twenty-five years.
Don worked for Gateway Building Products for sixty years. He rose to the position of vice-president. He
and his wife, Theresa, have two daughters – Peggy and Ginny. He has lived on North Tripp his entire life. Don turned ninety-six in 2013.