Michael Coleman

Michael Coleman was eighteen when his father asked him to practice with his tavern team, Boss Larry’s Hustlers. It was during this run that Michael began to hone his softball skills and to prepare himself for his movement into softball’s “major” leagues. The Hustlers played money games against other lounges on the weekends and played in leagues at Columbus Park, at Argo and Summit, and in a highly competitive night league in Maywood. He earned his nickname “Ice Mike” because of his stylish play in the outfield and at the plate. He started out as a long-ball hitting center fielder with a cannon throwing arm. In 1983 the Hustlers played a money game against the Safari Tigers, a young team from Chicago’s Southwest side. After the game, Mike Lee, the captain of the Tigers, asked Michael if he wanted to play for them. It didn’t take Michael long to say yes because of the reputation of the Tigers and because they were closer in age to him. He started out playing right field because Eric “Moon” Jones, the center fielder at the time had a stronger throwing arm and better range. With Michael in right, Eric Jones in center, and Cedric “Secret” Walls in left, the Tigers had one of the strongest outfields in major softball. They would dare runners to try to take an additional base and would then gun them down with their cannon-like arms. The Tigers played in all the major leagues around Chicago and became one of the top teams of the ‘80s. They won the ASA State title in 1985 and were runners-up in the ASA Nationals in 1984 and 1985. After his success with the Tigers, Michael and a few other teammates formed the B-Athletes in 1999. They won many local league championships in the late ‘90s and early 2000s and finished fifth in the ASA Major Nationals in 2003. Michael also moved from the outfield to first base and became one of the top first basemen of his era. In 1995 he was named an ASA All-American, the B-Athletes MVP in 2000, the Claude Rhodes Invitational MVP in 2005, and has been named to several other all-tournament team. Besides playing, Michael has also added leadership and knowledge to some of the up-and-coming teams like the Dogg Pound and his favorite, The Young Guns. In 2000 Michael and his wife of twenty years, Lori, moved to Naperville, Illinois. His daughters, Erica, Essence, and Emerald, would let him know they were at the game by blowing kisses to him between innings. He received a degree in Computer Science from Triton College and a bachelor’s degree from Concordia University in 1996 in Management. He has developed software for over twenty years and in 1996 became a computer consultant. In 1997 he started his own consulting company that recently completed a three-year contract with a major telecommunications company. He hopes to enter the field of educational computer consulting.