Henry “Hawk” Currie

Henry “Hawk” Currie, as he is affectionately called by friend and foe, began his softball career in the early 1950s at Madden Park, one of the most talent laden parks of that time. He won his first softball medal when the Aces took third place in the Chicago Park District Junior tournament. In 1961 he left Madden Park for the allure of Meyerling Playground, to play with the Sweets All-Stars. His teammates included softball legends Sweetwater Clifton, Dan Dumas, Lawyer Bratton, Zeke Ireland and fellow 2001 Inductee, Bobbie Blackstone. They won the Daddio Daily League that year, in a no hit shut out pitched by Bobbie. The following season, their already strong team was bolstered by the addition of Tony Reibel and Bill Hall. Henry worked for Kuppenheimer Clothing, and, as part of their team, played in nine Grant Park Industrial League Continental Division championships from 1962 to 1977. They also won five city tournaments during that span. In 1968, Kuppenheimer finished third in the ASA 16″ Nationals in St. Louis. Currie was named Most Valuable Player, the first Black 16″ player ever to be so honored. By the 1970s, Currie was playing with the 151 Stars, who eventually merged with several Flamingo players to form the Senators. For ten years the Senators and Flamingos waged softball wars beyond compare. In 1975, the Senators won every tournament on the south side. That year, before the largest crowd ever to watch a National game, the gloveless Senators lost to a glove wearing team from Oregon. Henry Currie lives with his wife Annie, and is the father of six boys and two girls.