In 1961, Jim Donato started playing 16” softball with the Emil Colts in Melrose Park for 2 years before being called to serve his country. After returning from 2 years in the Army and Vietnam, he played Outfield and Pitcher with The Relatives, Merchants, Sportmens Lounge, Nocturms, Originals, Bruins and Olympians for 10 years in many Chicago area leagues.
While playing in the Majors from 1975 – 1991, he played the ASSA Na-tionals and was on the Josephs 1975 ASA National Championship team, and was named to the 1975 and 1976 All Tournament Teams. In 1980, Jim started with the Lords as a player and eventually Manager for a total of 18 years. During this time, the Lords won 3 Metro champion-ships, numerous league titles, and 4 top 5 finishes in ASA and USSA Nationals.
Since his retirement from the majors in 1995, Jim continued to play sen-ior softball through 2017. During his 20 years with the Chicago Clas-sics, they won 9 national titles, 26 regional titles, and Gold medals at the Illinois State Senior 16 inch Softball Olympics for 3 years. Throughout these title wins, Jim earned 2 MVPs at nationals, one at the Olympics and numerous All Tournament honors.
Jim continues to enjoy the game, remaining active in local play. He credits much of his success to his own MVP – Eula – his wife of 44 years. www.16inchSoftballHOF.com