Ernest Millsap began playing sixteen-inch softball when he was just sixteen. He played with his older brothers R.V. and Vern, and friends Rob Kubicki (HOF) and Tim Kovel at Hodgkins Park District. He was hooked after his first season of play. As a younger kid, he had dreamed of playing in the major leagues, so one could say that sixteen-inch softball fulfilled his wishes. He played on three or four teams five nights a week throughout the Chicago area and in tournaments on the weekend. He played semi-pro baseball in Chicago and sixteen-inch softball everywhere else.
Ernest played on several teams in the past thirty-three years. He played for Kovel’s, Ledo’s Touch of Class. Coor’s Bombers, Busters, Connectors, Vee Pak, the Doctors, Static, and Bucks. In 1987 and 1988 he played in the “A” Nationals. In 1987 Ledo’s finished second to the Aces. In 1988 Doctors won the “A” Nationals. He batted leadoff in both tournaments and carried a .700 batting average.
In 1988 he was selected MVP of the USSSA “A” State Tournament with the Doctors. In 1997 he was named MVP in the USSSSA Twelve-inch State Championship with Vee Pak. He has hit more than five hundred homeruns and has driven in more than 1500 runs while carrying a .600 batting average.
In October of 1987 (in the off season of course) Ernie and Joan were married. The next year they welcomed their first child and Ernie’s playing days were shortened. By 1997, they had four children. As soon as his children were old enough to hold a bat, he taught them the fundamentals of the game. He has coached their softball and little league teams for many years, while still sneaking in four games a week for himself.
Ernie has been a police office for thirty-two years and has been a DARE Officer for twelve of those years. Being a DARE officer, he has met many people through fundraisers and his own charity work. He has raised over $200,000 for Special Olympics, St Jude’s Children’s Hospital, the American Cancer Society, and the 9/11 Relief Fund. He has organized fundraisers to help fallen police officers, injured police officers, and handicapped children whose financial needs are greater than their families can afford. Ernie and his wife raised $40,000 to purchase a new electric wheelchair for a child with special needs. Because of his charity work, Ernie and his wife were awarded the Positive Impact Award from the West Suburban Chamber of Commerce. In 2006, he received the Medal of Merit from the Countryside Police Department. For over the past 3 years Ernie has been the Police Chief in the Village of Hodgkins.
He still plays in the Berwyn 40-and-over-league and the Cicero 50-and-over-league with the Doctors. A lifelong resident of Hodgkins, Illinois, Ernie and Joan have four children – Tiffany, Stephanie, Michael, and Thomas and twin grandsons, Declan and Austin.