Jim Lang

Vince Lombardi once said ‘ The spirit to win, the will to win, and the will to excel are the things that endure. These qualities are so much more important than the events that occur.” This quote and these qualities especially fit the career of Jimmy Lang. He started his softball career in the early 1950s, playing in leagues at Harvey, Chicago, and Blue Island. In 1977 Jimmy decided to form his own team to challenge for the ASA National title. He put together a collection of players from Chicago’s Southside to create what many softball experts consider one of the best teams ever assembled – the Budweiser Whips. Jimmy’s efforts produced victory in 1980 when the Whips won their first ASA National Championship. For the next ten years they won six ASA National titles (1981, 83, 84, 88, 89, and 90). The Whips also won five USSSA World titles in the same time span (1982, 83, 84, 87, and 88). Besides being a great organizer, he also had the rare ability to attract some of the game’s best players. Lang picks the 1983 Whips with a record of 115 – 6 as the “best of the best.” Jimmy lists coaching his son at the major league softball level as a special memory. While many experts will debate the best teams of softball, most will agree that Jimmy Lang ranks as one the game’s top organizers.