Jim Quinn

Jim Quinn embodies what the game of sixteen-inch softball is all about. Originally from the Chatham neighborhood on Chicago’s South side, Jim and his family moved to the North side in 1956. That year Jim and the “Rods” won the 12-14 year old Sauganash Park Sixteen-inch softball title. Two years later, Jim Quinn, Jim Voss and their teammates won the eighth grade Chicago CYO baseball championship for Queen of All Saints School. These victories ignited a passion for softball and for the next fifty-five years, Jim has played, managed, and organized the game he loves. Jim played football at Loyola Academy and graduated from Loyola University. He served his country in Viet Nam as a member of the Marine Corps. In 1969 he began working for the Gillette Company and in 1970 started playing left field and managing the Gillette Strokers softball team. After nearly winning the Grant Park title numerous times, they struck pay dirt in 2005 and 2008 when they won the Grant Park League title. During those forty-plus-years at Grant Park, Jim attended countless meetings, arranged for sponsorships, scheduled practices and recruited players to compete in leagues along Chicago’s picturesque lakefront. Jim and many other players (many from competing teams) have forged some lifelong friendships as a result of their years competing at Grant Park. Every year they still celebrate Grant Park softball by participating in the annual Strokerfest at Grant Park. Jim also played for many years with the Mulligan’s team at Wildwood, Dunham, and Mather Parks. He also played with the Stormers at Hermosa and other parks and played in some union tournaments with the Local 17 Pipe Coverers. When he realized that many of his teammates were approaching the “end of the line” for their playing days, Jim, Larry Grabowski, and Bob Hockenbrough (HOF) convinced the La Grange Park District in 1991 to allow “old guys” of 39-and-over to play softball. With that move, the Old Strokes, consisting of players from Gillette, Peoples Gas, and Comm Ed, and Sears was born. In 1992 the league became so popular that Jim and Larry Grabowski found themselves with too many players. Rather than “cut” some of them, they split the team and created the Leftovers. They still play at Cicero on Monday nights in the 50-plus League and in the Berwyn 39-and-over League on Friday nights. Both leagues are still NO GLOVES. In 1998 he organized a team in the inaugural 50-and- Over League at La Grange (also NO GLOVES). The Leftovers played in it and Jim, Kenny Zuncic, Jim Stein and others led them to the tournament championship. Today, Jim manages and plays a bit with the Strokers at Grant Park on Thursday nights, the Leftovers on Friday nights in Berwyn, the Old Strokes on Monday nights in Cicero and with the Strokers in the LaGrange Fall League. Jim and his wife of forty-four years, Patt, live in LaGrange, Illinois. They have four children and nine grandchildren. He retired from Local 17 Heat and Frost Insulators in 2006.