Mel Turner

Mel played 12″ and 16″ softball during the 20s, 30s, and 40s, dissolving his team at the end of the season. While Mel made his living in the automotive world (securing numerous patents for technical advances in automobile repair tools,) his second love was softball. Mel and his family lived across the street from Bill “Rand” Stadium, which later became Rheingold and Bidwell Stadium. Besides playing for top softball teams in the early 1930s, Mel became a key member of the Leo Fisher Herald American structure, organizing South side teams to compete in the 600 team yearly city tournaments. In addition to organizing tournaments, Mel frequently settled disputes among players and teams. Once Mel became the Bidwell Stadium manager, he would frequently create a tournament in a matter of a hours. After every season Mel always organized a dinner for the umpires and wives of the Jim Allen Umpire. With his association with Leo Fisher, Charlie Bidwell. and Abe Saperstein (of the Harlem Globetrotters,) Mel also organized half time ceremonies for various sporting events at the Chicago Stadium. Besides his promotional efforts, Mel is also credited as being the- innovator of the yellow ball to improve night visibility. Mel played until he was 56 years old, still stretching a single into a double with – his famous head first slide.