James was born in 1961 in St. Louis Mo.,but after going to Concordia University in River Forest where he played baseball, football, and basketball and graduated with a BA in education. He started working for the Chicago Transit Authority in 1987 and worked until 2006 when he played 16 inch softball winning the Grant Park League in 1990 and at Washington Park. He started to umpire softball at Oak Park in 1992 for Greg Evans. John Mitchell provided an opportunity to eventually umpire at the Chicago Classic at Grant Park in 1998, followed up with Hodgkins/ Bensenville pro league, and the first ASA Nationals
in Joliet Illinois. He has worked in over a dozen national tournaments
for ASA and NSA, Forest Park, and the Black nationals. His title games and leagues umpired
till 2017. He worked at Tinley Park, Clyde Park,Homewood Flossmoor, Odgen Park, Smith Park,Taylor Park, Kennedy Park, Country Club Hills, Mount Prospect, Midlothian, South Holland, ParkForest, Forest Park, Westchester, Berwyn, North Riverside, Carol Stream, River Forest, Garfield Park,Mann Park, Cicero Park, Villa Park, Hawthorne Park, Alsip, Blue Inland, Mount Prospect, Matteson,University Park, Oak Brook, Schiller Park (30). Assignment chairmen John Mitchell, Les Duncan,Rick Wostiatzky, Jim Aconfora, Jerry Jenkins, James Milton, Ray Johnson, Sherman, Martin, Willis Miles, Paul Ferking, Jerry Fick and Tom O Nell. His playing and umpire skills and talent are enough
to be recognized but it’s his off-the-field effort that make him special and a Daley Award winner…He worked for the CTA for 22 years and developed Wellness Programs that provided picnics, softball, and other sports for Union 308/241employees. He is also an effective teacher from grades 6-12 that engages all students to participate and work hard.
My lessons teach children the necessary social, physical, and mental life skills which will lead to making positive choices.