Hank “Hammer” Magiera

Wearing his trademark engineer’s cap as he chugged around the bases, Hank Magiera emerged as one of the most colorful players during his softball playing days. Hank Magiera demonstrated his athleticism when he lettered in four sports (baseball, football, track, and wrestling) at Schurz High School. He was selected as an All – State baseball player with a career batting average of .515. He then played baseball at Western Illinois University with former Cub pitcher Rick Reuschel. Hank entered the world of big time softball when Denny Hall asked him to join Murderer’s Row in 1971, playing right field and hitting leadoff (and once completing an unassisted triple play). They won numerous tournaments, including the Chicago Park District Championship, the Lyon’s 45 Tournament, and the 4th of July Tournament at Kelly Park. These championships earned them the honor of being written up in the first edition of Windy City Softball Magazine in February of 1974. Hank Magiera started playing nationally when he joined the Bobcats in 1975. He played right field and hit leadoff for them but switched to center field, a position he played until the end of his career. He remembers winning the State and City Championships in the same day. Although he was primarily a single hitter who would often stretch it into a double with his patented headfirst slide into second, Magiera once hit three homeruns in one inning during the 1977 World Championship Tournament. After the Cats lost early to the Sobies at the World, they battled back from the loser’s bracket to face the Sobies again. They had to win two games to clinch the championship. He led off both games with homeruns and the Cats took both games by large margins. For his efforts, Magiera was named an ASA All American that year, and he counts this victory as his most memorable softball experience. Throughout his career he was known as a player who could “makes things happen” on offense, the main requirement for a top leadoff man. During a tournament in Marshalltown, Iowa, he reached safely in all but one at bat, despite having a pulled hamstring. He once hit a ball so hard that he knocked the third baseman for the Strikers out cold. Defensively, his speed made him a sparkling defensive player who would often run through the outfield crowds at Kelly Park to hunt down a long fly ball. Hank Magiera and his wife, Nancy, live in Barrington with their children – Stacey, Lauren, Cassie, and Nick.