Justin Fortuna

Justin Fortuna’s softball career spanned forty years. He played with the Bobcats at Clarendon, Kosciusko, and Kelly Parks. He was a member of the Dr. Carlucci Bobcats when they won the ASA World Championship from 1969 to 1972. He was instrumental in coordinating the North Side Bobcats with Eddie Zolna’s (HOF) South Side Bobcats in the late 1960s. Justin’s team was playing at Clarendon Park when George Morse (HOF) mentioned that the Carlucci Bobcats needed players, so Justin brought Bobbie Fiandaca and future Hall of Famers Geno Petramale, Bobby Garippo, Mike Mareno, and Frank Lentine. In 1971, the year the Bobcats won the ASA Nationals, Al Cech (HOF) and Ron Olesiak (HOF) were added to the team. Besides organizing, Justin was also a backup pitcher for the Bobcats.

Besides softball, Justin was president of the Athletic Officials Association (AOA). He officiated basketball for the Illinois High School Association and refereed three state championships. Additionally, he officiated baseball and basketball games for the Chicago Public Schools. He was inducted into the Chicago Public League Basketball Coaches Hall of Fame in 1996 and received the AOA Hall of Fame Award in 2005.

Justin owned and operated Jay’s Drive-in with locations in Harwood Heights, Schiller Park, and Chicago’s Wicker Park. He passed away in 2000 and is survived by his wife, Muriel, and four children – Virginia, Jay, Frank, and John and twelve grandchildren