Don Stramaglia, who was born and raised in Evergreen Park, began his sixteen-inch softball career at the age of twelve. During the summer of 1949, he joined the Evergreen Athletic Association League and played for the Methodist Church. Later, he won two consecutive championships with the Evergreen Park Central School in seventh and eighth grade.
Besides softball, Don excelled in many other sports. At Blue Island High School, he lettered in football, basketball, and baseball all four years. In 1955 at the age of eighteen, he received his first MVP award while playing in the Southwest Cook County All-Star game. He was drafted into the military in 1956, but his love of the game continued when he played fast-pitch softball for the Fort Bliss team. His team won the championship of the Fourth Army Softball Tournament and Don received another MVP award.
After his military service, Don played with the Parkers and the Queen of Martyrs Knights of Columbus team. They won the Mt. Greenwood League title for nine consecutive years. The Queen of Martyrs team also won many South Suburban Knights of Columbus league championships. In 1959 and 1961, Don was named MVP of the Southwest Cook County All-Star Game. In 1961, he also was named MVP of the McKiernan Park All-Star Game. In 1964, he played with the Queen of Martyrs ASA District 10 Championship Team.
Throughout the fifties through the nineties, Don played with the Bobcats, Harcrest Construction, Shoes, Turners Tap, Don’s World of Sports Stars, Express, and People’s Choice. Teams he played for won over fifty league championships. In 1986, Don’s World of Sports took second place in the USSSA “A” State Tournament. Don was not able to participate in many national tournaments because he coached football for thirty seasons.
After forty-five years of playing softball, Don retired in 1993. He carried a lifetime batting average over .600, hit over five hundred home runs, and drove in more than seven hundred runs. He now enjoys spending time with his wife, Sheri, his children Donnie, Bob, Dan, Mike, and Gina and eighteen grandchildren and seven and counting great grandchildren.