Eddie Zolna

The only Chicago softball player ever inducted in the ASA Hall of Fame in Oklahoma, his Bobcat teams won 12 ASA National Titles including the very first ASA National Championship in 1964. In total Zolna played and directed teams to more wins and tournament victories in the history of the sport including several World Championships through the Windy City World Series of Softball and USSSA venues. He has pitched in more than 5,000 softball games during his 6 decade softball career. His legendary Bobcats teams of the 1960s and 70s were one of the most dominating teams during the era. “Eddie Z” as he is known began playing organized softball in 1947 on a major level. Batted left and threw right. At 19 years of age he played in the fabled Windy City League for Rush Liquors. He also played for the Weinberg Studebakers in the equally recognized Northtown League. He played for the fine St. Albert the Great CYO and Jimmy Rose teams in the 50’s. His first Bobcat team began playing locally in the early in the 50’s and the powerhouse really got untracked in the late 50’s as they won 8 city softball titles. He was a three time MVP and six time All-American pitcher in the ASA Nationals. His team won the first National Tourney in 1964 over the Kenneth Allen team at Northtown Stadium. Ed is very proud of his ‘76 team that lost their 1st tourney and went on to win 18 out of 19 for the year. Zolna was one of the first players to use a glove in ‘71 when rule changes were made to allow more teams from out of state to play. He also ran the Chicago entry with Joe Pepitone in the pro 12” League that came in 2nd. Since his playing and managing days Ed has been fortunate to be a coach on 6 ASA National crowned teams with the Whips and Lettuce. He still enjoys playing and coaching with the ‘96 ASA National Champion Lettuce. In 1989 Ed was inducted in the Illinois Softball Hall of Fame as the first 16 inch player so honored. He was also inducted into the Amateur Softball Association’s Hall of Fame in Oklahoma City, OK in 1989 as the only 16 inch player in the nationally acclaimed institution. He authored a book on softball in 1980 with the celebrated Chicago Tribune columnist Mike Conklin, “Mastering Softball” by Wintrop Publishing. Since 1986, he has also written a weekly softball column for the Daily Southtown newspaper, as well as numerous other articles and stories on softball in Chicago. He was a color TV commentator for the 1977 Windy City World Series of Softball on NBC TV. He was a frequent contributor to the Windy City Softball’s radio talk show in the 1970s. Born 1929 in Chicago. Also a superb bowler. Married to Lorraine with 4 children and has 7 grand children.