Donald Martina

     Don Martina began playing softball in the ’60s and continues playing today for a career spanning over forty years. While serving in the Army, he played softball and basketball overseas and along the East Coast. He returned to Chicago in 1968 and joined several local teams playing at Lawndale (now Piotrowski) Park on Chicago’s Southside. He played outfield for one of those teams, the Centaurs, leading them to many championships in the ’70s at Lawndale and Pasteur Parks. In the ’80s, Don switched from outfield to short center and started playing on teams throughout the Western Suburbs, including the Angels in Lyons, Static in LaGrange, Rizza Rockers in Cicero, Warhawks in North Riverside, and Bat and Brew in Brookfield. He helped lead these teams to much local success. Don started what would be a twenty-five-year partnership when he joined the Doctors in the mid-’80s. He helped lead them to league titles at Bedford Park, Summit, LaGrange, Hodgkins, Brookfield, Berwyn, and Cicero. Additionally they won the 1984 Suburban Life Classic title in Pleasantdale, the 1988 Hawthorne Park Tournament title, the 1988 USSSA Illinois State title in Orland Park, the 1989 NSA National title in Grays Lake, and the 1989 Suburban Life Classic in North Riverside. Their most exciting win came with the 1988 Class “A” National title in Indianapolis. He continued his success with the Doctors into the ’90s. He helped them capture a third place finish in the 1990 ASA “A” Nationals in Iowa and a second place finish in the 1991 ASA “A” Nationals in Blue Island. He holds a lifetime batting average over .600, has tallied three hundred homeruns, and registered over 1,000 RBIs. He was named to the All Tournament team at the Suburban Life Classic in 1984, 1988-1991, and 1993. He was selected MVP in that tournament in 1989, an honor he truly cherishes. But his best memories are the great times, friendships, and camaraderie he has shared with his teammates. Don retired from Lucent Technologies as an R/D Manager in 2001 after thirty-seven years of service. He continues to play in various “Over – 39” and “Over 50” leagues in LaGrange, Berwyn, and Cicero.  He is also a respected umpire in the Western Suburbs. Don and his wife, Carol, live in Lemont, Illinois. The have two daughters, Kristen (David) Kowalski, and Bonnie (Michael) Eichinger and three lovely grandchildren, Grace, Nathan, and Daniel.