Harry Hannin

Harry Hannin was the main organizer and president of the Windy City Softball and Basketball Leagues from 1934 to 1949. His 1925 team, the Hannin Did Its, won fifty-five games in a row. These victories inspired the rush to play sixteen-inch softball. Hannin coached legendary DePaul Coach Ray Meyer. Twenty-six future major leaguers, including Lou Boudreau and Bill “Moose” Skowron, played in the Windy City League. It attracted 2,500-10,000 viewers per game and was often the premier event for spectators during that era. Each team had its own home field…Hillburn, Schubert, Bidwell, Parichy, St. Phillips, and Lane Tech to name a few. They had paid attendance of 389,000 over two seasons in the late 1940s at two fields. The players were paid for each game with more going to the winners. Hannin seemd to always have a cigar in his mouth and was often looking to make another deal. Besides organizing softball, Hannin was also the advance man for the Harlem Globetotters and was a boxing promoter. In 1939, Hannin and Leo Fischer of the Chicago Herald American organized the World Tournament of Professional Basketball. The games were played at two locations in Chicago. The tournament marked the first time that blacks and whites competed on even footing for a professional championship. From 1961 to 1962, Harry was the GM for the Chicago Packers, a professional basketball team in Chicago. He is credited with drafting Walt Bellamy, the 6’11” center from Indiana and the 1960 Olympic hero. The Packers are now the Washington Wizards. Harry Hannin passed away in November, 1989.