Duke Gregerson’s sixteen-inch softball career started at fifteen when the game captured his heart. He has played more than five thousand games during his forty-four year career. He played with thirty-five different teams. The High Flyers, Coach’s Corner, Slammers, Brentano’s, Wallace Softball, Doctors, Warhawks, Hooligans, and Goons are all teams he played on that won championships. At Schurz High School, he played baseball, wrestled, and was on the speed skating team.
Duke played in four national tournaments (one finished in the top five) and played in three USSSA World Tournaments with a second place finish. He has been named to four all-tournament teams, and has played on league all-star teams twice. One of his fondest memories was playing for the Berwyn Like All-Stars. He played shortstop (and was known for his excellent arm) but finished his career at third base and short center. He was a great hitter who could always be counted on to deliver a clutch hit. His lifetime batting average was over .600.
Duke played in the top parks and leagues throughout Chicago and the suburbs. He played in the WCKG Tournament at Mather Park, the Oriole Park Tournament, the Alderman O’Connor Tournament at Mather Park, and at Proesel Park in Lincolnwood. Besides playing softball, he also umpired for twelve years.
Duke coached little league baseball until his son Lucas started high school. Lucas is currently the closer for the Houston Astros. Besides Lucas, the Gregersons have four other children – Amy, Scott, Lisa, and Heidi. They have two grandchildren – Zoe and Logan. John and his wife, Cindy, live in Park Ridge, Illinois.
Duke has a true passion for the game. When asked why he never played at Mt. Prospect, he replied that he always favored playing without gloves and loved playing in the parks across Chicago with his close friends.