Louis S. Vine, Jr

Louis attended Crane Technical High School. He played organized softball from 1950 to 1958 at Garfield Park. He also played industrial softball for Dole Valve where he was an employee. He played with the Golden Keys at Kels Park at Chicago and Kedzie from 1958 to 1959. He then joined the Beetle Bombers with Ron Brasch (HOF) as manager for a seven – year stretch from 1960 to 1967. From 1967 to 1972 he played for the Rogues/ Blues with Vito Maggerise (HOF) as manager. He retired from softball in 1972 after the Rogues/Blues disbanded. During his playing days, he enjoyed many highlights. He played for the Beetle Bombers in the first world championship that was sponsored by Alderman Kenneth Allen. The game was televised from Thillens Stadium. They finished second to the famed Bobcats. He played in the perfect game tossed by Lewa Yacilla (HOF) and played on the Daddy O’Daily Travelling All-Star team. From 1964 to 1966, the Beetle Bombers won the Alderman John Marshcin Tournament. He also helped the Rogues win the Evanston tournament. He hit an estimated 200 homeruns and during his industrial career batted over .600 and led the A/B league in hitting six times. He was one of the best centerfielders of his day and was nicknamed “the Claw” by teammate Ed Mulligan (HOF) because of his ability to hang on to any ball that touched his hands. He once played over 100 games without making a single error. Lou was such a standout fielder that when he played for other Major teams, they would often move their regular centerfielder to a corner outfield position. Besides playing softball, he was a standout amateur boxer and bowler. He has three A.B.C. sanctioned 300 games and carries a career average over 200. He and his wife, Patricia, have been married for forty years. They have five children: Lorrie, Karen, Susan, Louis III, and Cheryl (deceased) and many grandchildren. He retired from Teamsters Local 705 in 2005 after thirty-five years of employment. He lives on Chicago’s Northwest side and enjoys playing table tennis and walking his rescue dog, Bianca. He also advises his son’s sixteen-inch softball team.