Jim “ack ack” Acanfora

Jim Acanfora was born and raised on Chicago’s West side where he attended Quigley North High School, graduating in 1966. He lettered in baseball, basketball, football, track, and wresting and was also involved in choir and debate. He then went on to Loyola University and in 1971 earned his degree in Public Accounting (CPA) with a minor in Business Law, Finance, and Classical Languages. He played basketball, football, baseball, hockey, and ran track. He is also a member of the Phi Kappa Theta (PKT) fraternity. In 1964 he began a playing career that would last into the 1980s, but in 1972 he started an umpiring career that would take him to the major leagues of 16-inch softball. He started umpiring in church, school, and park district leagues around the West and Southwest suburbs of Chicago. Little did he know that from these humble beginnings he would go on to umpire over five thousand softball games, many at softball’s highest levels. In 1978 he became a registered/licensed ASA umpire and began to officiate men’s and women’s 12-inch and 16-inch games for Tom O’Neill, Bob Ancona, and Joe Hoffman at the top parks in Chicago and the suburbs. That year, he also began umpiring at ASA regional, sectional, and national competitions. He has officiated at eleven national tournaments, nineteen state tournaments, seven Forest Park Tournaments, twelve Grant Park Tournaments, all six North-South Tournaments, and at numerous 12-inch tournaments. In 1999 he achieved Gold Status as an ASA umpire, after achieving Blue, Platinum, and Silver levels. During his umpire career, he always stressed fairness in calling the game, respected the players and the integrity of the game, called the game to the best of his ability, and realized that the game is more important than one person. Currently he has reduced the number of games that he officiates, but does assign an elite group of umpires for 16-inch major leagues and tournaments. He was the chief financial officer (CFO) and treasurer for Royal Crown Bottling Company of Chicago from 1981 until the company closed in 2005. He is semi-retired and is a consultant for select companies and clients. He and his wife, Bonnie, live in Palos Park. Jim has two children, Debra and Julie, from a previous marriage.