Leonard “Sarge” McKinnon

In over 40 years in 16″ softball, Leonard “Sarge” McKinnon forged a legendary reputation as a player, manager, umpire and administrator. The Wendell Phillips High School graduate started playing softball in 1942 at the Wabash YMCA at 37th and Wabash when he founded the Nighthawks. He played first base and was their top hitter. The next year, the Nighthawks became the Vagabonds and McKinnon played with them for three years, leading them in hitting and fielding. He then played with the Junior Clowns out of the Southside Boys Club. McKinnon’s softball career took off when he became a member of the legendary Ironmen, organized in 1946 by Stanley “Champ” Schealey. McKinnon played first base, short center and third base with the Ironmen for 31 years, leading them in home runs. In 1971 Leonard became the manager of the Ironmen, a position he held from 1971 to 1981. He was also league commissioner from 1966 to 1981, when he retired from active player to umpire, a position he still holds. Leonard McKinnon and his wife of 48 years have seven children and twelve grandchildren. He retired from the Illinois National Guard as a Sergeant First Class after 36 years of service.