Edward “Dooner” Koss

Like many great players of his era, Eddie Koss had a traditional Chicago softball upbringing. He attended St. Ann Grade School and St. Ann High School. He played sports as a boy at Union League Boys Club, and honed his athletic skills by playing and defeating many top teams from other Boys Clubs in Chicago. By 14, Koss was already playing softball with players 10 years older and impressing them with his skills. In one game early in his career, he made two one handed diving catches – with each hand – to stem rallies. From 1952 to ’63, Eddie played with and against some of the greatest names in softball history. His move from the outfield to short center occurred when their regular short center didn’t show up for a game. Being without a short center, his manager asked Koss to play that position and the rest is history. As a hitter Koss was known to be so accurate with the bat, he could place a ball anywhere he wanted along the right field line. His hitting was so respected that teams in the Windy City league invented a special defense against him. Despite their efforts, Koss maintained a .700 seasonal average. Koss’ hitting and fielding skills were noticed by Frank Holan who asked Eddie to play for the Rocky Stars (later to become Treiner’s Lounge). With them he played with some of the softball greats – Ed Surma, Clyde Starry, the Bereckis brothers and John Hornacek. After Treiner’s Lounge, Eddie played with Interstate and hooked up with future Hall of Famers Frank Lentine, Dennis Migala and Tony Reibel. Later in his career Koss moved to Hanover Park and played with Johnson’s Decorators (later called Omega Sports) for 15 years in the West and Northwest suburbs. He then joined a 14″ league and was selected to their All Star team for ten straight years. He was also named MVP of the league’s tournament the year his team won the championship. Eddie and his wife, Jane, have three sons – Dan, Tom and Dave – and seven grandchildren. Eddie is retired from Canteen Vending and living in Bartlett.