James “The Shiek” DiNardi

Born on Chicago’s famous West side James DiNardi notched a reputation as one of the top two or three 16″ pitchers of his era He earned the nickname of “Sheik” while a student at the Thomas Jefferson School on the West side where he was always the best dressed and subsequently attracted all the girls. Playing for such legendary teams as Midland Motors, Triplex Pistons, Continental Can, and the Owl Club, DiNardi regularly left batters swinging at thin air. In 1948, the Triplex Pistons, with Dinardi playing key roles both on the mound and with his bat, captured the championship of the Northtown Major League. He also pitched the Shopping Team to 18 of their 19 wins. As a reporter once said of Sheik DiNardi, “His stellar performance was reminiscent of the feats of Ironman McGinnity of old time baseball history.” DiNardi’s legacy lives on in his grandson Gino Murillo who currently pitches for the Gamblers.