In the summer of 1969, three friends – Hilde Diaz, John “Sweet Daddy” Wojtasik, and Ron “Orca” Michalowicz – recruited their neighborhood friends from Summit to form a sixteen-inch softball team called the Argo Sinners. That year they began playing in the Bedford Park and Summit Park leagues. Like most new teams in their first year of competition, things didn’t go so well. So the following year, they decided to recruit players from outside of the neighborhood and changed their name to The Gentleman.
Their play improved as a team but not fast enough. So in 1971, they changed their team name to the Marauders and changed a few players as well. They played another average year in 1972 and again tweaked their roster and changed their name to the Magicians. It finally paid off when they won their first championship in Bedford Park. Ready to defend their title in 1973, they shortened their name to Magic and the team never looked back.
From 1973 to 2013, Magic won many different league titles and even won some leagues multiple times at Bedford Park, Summit Park, Bridgeview, Burbank, Lyons, Oak Lawn, Darien, Hickory Hills, Westmont and Valley Forge. But as they were hitting all strides, the league (s) they were playing in either folded or the level of competition declined. Around 1987 or 1988, Magic began playing in the La Grange League. They had success in this league and won a few league titles. In 1992, as age began to take its toll, Magic joined the Friday night La Grange 39 and Over League. They won numerous league titles during the fifteen years they played in La Grange. In 2002, the league moved to Janura Park in Berwyn. Magic won that league six of seven years and in 2013 went undefeated with a 19 – 0 record.
During the years, Magic won tournaments at Washington Park, Hale Park, and Bogan and Summit Parks. Their biggest tournament wins were at the USSSA Recreational Metro in Hodgkins, and they were four-time winners at Furlan’s in Trevor, Wisconsin.
As players have come and gone, Magic teammates have formed many long lasting friendships and many families have bonded. The majority of these friendships are still going strong today. Magic is not just a softball team but also a family. Fathers and sons, uncles and nephews, brothers, cousins, and childhood friends have all played together at one time or another. Some are still playing today. Magi’s values of friendship, family, fun, and loyalty and their “never give up” attitude had never wavered. Those values are still strong today.
Congratulations to Hilde Diaz, Ron “Orca” Michalowicz, Keith “Breeze” Rehr and Bobby “Jaws” Jaworski on having played with Magic for forty-plus years. Tommy Tomlinson and Rick Regep have played for fifteen years. These six guys keep the Magic tradition alive. John “Sweet Daddy” Wojtasik and Bob “Croc” Crokenower recently retired after forty-plus years with the team. Frank Batura, Mike Stawski, Paul Zaitz, Pete Zaitz, Joe Fabian and Gary Klonowski recently retired after fifteen years with the team.
Magic thanks the sponsors who have supported the team throughout the years – Marian’s Bar, Damar-Kaminski Funeral Home, Bella’s, Luetje’s Village, Smilin’ Goat, Foran Funeral Home, Brewskee’s, and Junior’s Bar and Grill.
Magic would like to acknowledge the following players who have played for or are currently playing with Magic
|Hilde Diaz||Frank Batura||John “Sweet Daddy Wojtasik|
|Ron “Orca” Michaowicz”||Mike Stawski||Paul Zaitz|
|Pete Zaitz||Keith “Breeze” Rehr||Bob “Jaws” Jaworski|
|Joe Fabian||Gary Klonowski||Rick Regep|
|Tommy Tomlinson||Bob Bellany||Bob “Croc” Crokenower|
|Aleco Julius||Brad Kerzich||Eddie Zambo|
|Robert Wojtasik||Kerry Mecca||Scot “Wesco” Wesolowski|
|Lupe Diaz||Paul Volk||Chuck Bedlow|
|Ray Bedlow||Dan Telford||Jason “Lil Orca” Micvhalowicz|
|John Bagel||Rich “Pup” Bagel||Mark Scharlow|
|Jack Kamin||Tom Mazurski||Charles Richardson|
|Tony “Ozzie” Giglio||Tony Davis||Danny Athern|
|Jack Hogan||Larry Lenz||Nate “Dino” Brown|
|Kenny Menke||Bryan Fry||John Pelagrino|
|Tony Kabella||Bill “Rookie” Lang||Ron Risden|
|Dave Plesha||Tom Neputy||Darren Neputy|
|Brain “Coach” Udaykee||Eddie Chibe||Brad Moriaity|
|Kevin Salkeld||Paul Wetzig||Mike “Doc” Snell|
|Mark Munizzi||Jim Homa||Rolan Czik|
|Dennis Strzelczyk||“Big Dave” Sramek||Bobby Rehr|
|Gary Lewis||Mark Perecich||John Strxelczyk|
|Rich Hennessey||Bill Hickey||Mick Malmon|
|Chuck Gach||Buddy McFadden||Korky Wesolowski|
|Dean Folcar||Dan Gernatis||Don Schultz|
|Bobby Alquist||Louie Delfiacco||Allan Tomnitz|
|Mark Ksiondra||Pat Strossner||Nino Perovich|
|“Pappa Joe” Zaitz||Joe Winnek||John Svetich|
|Bob Barta||Jimmy Glorioso||Ed “Rocko” Rokosic|
|Bob Habel||Howard Habel|