John C Barrett

John started playing softball in 1960 at the age of eight at the Neighborhood Boys Club (NBC) on Chicagos North side. It was at the NBC that John fell in love with the game of 16” softball. His love of the sport continued through high school at St. Benedict’s and in college at DePaul University. In 1968, students at St. Benedict’s formed the “Aces”, a softball team that played at Paul Revere Park. John and another friend, Tom Wenholz, joined the team in 1969 and have played for the Aces ever since. In 1971, John reorganized the Aces when he picked up members of the Alpha Chi fraternity and other friends from DePaul University. John has played, coached, and managed the Aces for every season since 1971. He has coached approximately 1400 games in the last 36 years. While the Aces remained John’s main team, he was also the pitcher, coach, and manager of the Allstate Insurance Northwest Metro softball team. They played during the mid 70s and early 80s in the Lincolnwood Industrial Park League. In addition, John played for the Howard family team, the Sunshine’s, and pitched for the team that won the Eugene Field title in 1977. The Aces were very competitive and played almost every evening either at Paul Revere, Clarendon or Portage Parks on the Northwest side of Chicago and played tournaments on weekends. Over the years, they accumulated an impressive list of accomplishments: 1971 Clarendon Park Saturday League Champs, 1972 and 1973 Paul Revere Park Champs, 1976 and 1977 Paul Revere 2nd pl, 1978 Portage Park B League Champs, 1982 Paul Revere Champs, 1983 River Park Champs, and 2000 Horner Park Champions. Some of the team’s greatest memories included the invitation to play in the 1976 Andy Frain tournament at Clarendon Park. The Aces drew the reigning city champions, Murderer’s Row, in the first round and won by a score of 3 to 2. The Aces next faced the “Bobcats.” Although the Aces lost, it was quite an experience playing one of the most legendary teams in softball history. Another great moment occurred when the team won the prestigious Ed Kelly Tournament at River Park in 1977. The Aces faced four “A” league teams to win the tournament, beating the Silver Streak in the semi finals and the Circus in the championship game. Other great moments include the great rivalry against the Lifters and Blues in the 70s and 80s. Other than the longevity and the success on the field, John’s legacy is that nine players with more than thirty-five years experience continue to play as the Aces enter their fortieth season. The players are John and Bill Abplanalp, Mike Burke, Jim Kartheiser, John Mackin, Jim Mazukelli, Tom and Tim Seiwert, and Tom Wenholz. In addition, Tom Krier and Wally Johnson have played for fifteen-plus years. While no longer playing, John Kosick, Herb W A L L O F F A M E John C. Barrett 50 C H I C A G O 1 6 ” H A L L O F F A M E Freundt, and George Ristau played for more than twenty years. Perhaps John’s greatest moment is being fortunate enough to coach his son, John Patrick, and the children of three other players. Currently, there are four father/son combinations on the Aces (John Barrett and son, John Patrick; Mike Burke and son, Paddy; Tim Seiwert and son, Tim Jr; and Mike Vesper and son, Chris). John has also influenced many boys and girls in sports through volunteering and coaching at St. Thecla Grade School and Edison Park Youth, Inc on Chicago’s Northwest side over the past twenty years. John is currently the president of Edison Park Youth, Inc and an active alumni of the Neighborhood Boys and Girls Club. John is married to his wonderful wife of 30 years, Maureen. They have three beautiful children (Sheila, a special ed teacher with the Chicago Public schools, Katie, a graduate student at St. Xavier University, and John, a sophomore at St. Norberts College). John has worked at Allstate Insurance Company for the past thirty-three years and is currently a Senior Claim Manager in Northbrook. John passed away in March 2008…just missing his 40th season with the ACES at Indian Road.