John Bereckis

According to Bill Jauss in the Chicago Today, life-long Chicago resident, John Bereckis, was the Con artist of the game, a herk-and-jerk, ball-and windmill, hesitate-and-drag pitcher. This so-called con artist and his brother, Bill, led the Sobie’s / America Rivet teams to three A.S.A. National title from 1966 to 1968. Bereckis’ defensive skills were a major factor in the Sobie’s / American Rivet dynasties from 1966 to 1972 – years that saw thousands of spectators throng to see the Sobies play their arch rivals, the Carlucci Bobcats. Besides excelling in softball, John Bereckis also played baseball and basketball at Kelly High School where he received All Sectional honors in basketball from the Chicago Tribune. After returning from military service in Korea, he also played semi-pro baseball for the Cole-Lenzi’s team. After retiring from the Chicago Police Department (where he also contributed to many memorable softball games) and major league softball, John spent his summers in Sioux Narrows, Canada. At 59 John once again put on the cleats when he began pitching for Cookie’s Restaurant and brought Chicago softball to Canada. Known by such colorful nicknames as Johnny B, Bees, and Senor, Bereckis passed away in 1996 at the age of 64. He is survived by his wife, Esther, his son, Jake (Nancy), a daughter, Denise, and two grandchildren.