What became a lifetime passion, began as a fun pastime playing with family and friends. After wrapping up successful Varsity Baseball and Football careers at Leyden Township High School, Joe developed a serious interest in 16” Softball in the mid-1980s. To this day, he treasures his early Schiller Park “Shot” and Brooks Park “Shooters” teams. That’s where it all began: where his talents as an outfielder and batter were initially recognized and ultimately Nick was a champion. He was one of the most outstanding outfielders of his era with speed and a cannon arm. During his softball career, he played every outfield position for some of the top teams, including the Laborers 714, Blues, Lettuce, Hollywood Casino, Dollhouse, Red Dog, Licorice, Flash, Miller 45s, Woodpeckers, Hangers, Helots, Gamblers, Ice, Maxime and Paragons. He played at every major park including Mt Prospect, Kelly, Clarendon, Blue Island, Mt Greenwood and many others. He played in ASA, SSA, USSSA and NSA Major National Tournaments, winning 2 USSSA titles, 7 ASA Major National titles and 7 Forest Park No-Glove titles.