Ken Speirs

With a softball career spanning 40 years, Ken “Kenny” Speirs remembers getting hits off the legendary Lewa Yacillo and Sheik DiNardi. He started his career at Waters Park on the Northwest side of Chicago. He also played at Welles Park, Thillen’s Stadium, Clarendon Park, Chicago and Kedzie, and one year with Fewer Boilers and the legendary Eggs Bromley. One of the top ten hitters every year at Norttown and Clarendon Parks, Speirs led the team in doubles and batted second or third with every team. He started his career at third base, moved to left field where he earned the nickname “Spider” for his remarkable hands. He later took over at short center when a teammate was hurt. He never left that position as he became one of the best shortcenters in the game. Speirs remembers playing four games on Sunday – CYO Ball, two pot games in the afternoon, and a night game at Thillen’s. His team won the CYO championship three years in a row with the Queen of Angels. With the Alderman Hoellen Boosters Speirs dominated Welles Park for ten years. At Nortown Speirs played with Town Pump where he was runner up to such teams as Midland Motors, Kool Vent, and Spalters. Kenny Speirs played at Clarendon into his 40s where he won the league championship with Warm Friends, Ryan’s Jungle, and others. He also was runner-up to the Bobcats two years in a row while playing at Chicago and Kedzie. He was invited to the Cub’s school at sixteen while a student at Amundsen High School. Ken served with the Navy Amphibious forces for two years in the Pacific Theatre and served in Korea for a year. He retired in 1984 from Illinois Bell Telephone after 34 years of service. Ken and his wife of fifty years, Caye, have seven children and 16 grandchildren.