Mark Wilson

Mark Wilson’s softball career began when he was fourteen and started playing in the Friday night high school league at Peak’s Park in Worth, Illinois. From that early beginning, he would go on to play with some of softball’s great teams (Barrel of Fun, Francanello’s, Whips, Bud Runners, Renegades, Bats, Hollywood Casino, Men from Uncle, Jelly, and Grasshoppers) and would win numerous team and individual honors. Six years later he made his move into softball’s major league when he joined the Eye of the Tiger team in the Blue Island League. Two years later (1983) he played in his first of many nationals. That year he was named an ASA Second Team All American. Before his career was over, he was named an ASA First Team All American four times (1984, ‘88, ‘90, and ‘91), a USSSA All American three times (1985, ‘88, and ‘89), and a NSAAll American twice. He was also selected to numerous ASA, USSSA, and NSA second and honorable mention teams. He won the batting title at the 1996 ASA Nationals in Brookfield, Wisconsin when he played with Francanello’s and was named Most Valuable Player in the 1988 ASA Nationals in Marshalltown, Iowa with the Whips. Teams he played for appeared in final four finishes four times at Forest Park. They appeared in the ASA final four seven times and won four ASA National titles (Whips, Hollywood Casino, and Men from Uncle) and won three NSA National titles. Throughout his career in “A” and “Major” softball, he played second base, first base and catcher. In time, catcher became his primary position where he was recognized for his knowledge of the game and for his ability to know the strengths and weaknesses of the opposing hitters. Besides his defense, Mark’s offensive skills featured numerous clutch-hitting performances with his signature line drive to the right center field gap. When he wasn’t playing softball, Mark worked as a project manager during the day and sports director at night for the Alsip Park District. During his tenure at the Alsip, enrollment increased to 147 teams in the summer of 2004, second only in Illinois to the Rockford Park District. He currently directs the softball program at the Blue Island Park District. Because of his efforts, the park district was awarded an ASA “A” National bid to the 2006 and 2007 summer league season winners. He continues playing with the Grasshoppers and hopes to win another “A” National title before retiring from softball. He is also an ASA registered umpire. He and his wife, Laura, live in Frankfort, Illinois with their two children – Douglas and Jessica.