Paul Rowan

Paul Rowan began his twenty-seven plus year softball-organizing career in 1978 when he formed the Dukes to play in a six-team league that he also started. The Dukes and the league stayed together for four years. From 1978 to 1982 he played for and managed a few neighborhood teams before the desire to play more competitive softball drove him to form the Ringers in 1982, a team formed with players from four neighborhood teams. The Ringers were well known, not only for their intense softball play but their entertainment and camaraderie off the field at many games and tournaments. Unfortunately an injury in 1987 forced him from playing the game for two years, but he still managed the team. From 1982 to 1988 the Ringers took second place (1982) in the Kelly Park “B” Division, won the titles at Graver Park (‘83), at the Bill Bonnett Tournament (‘87), and at Beverly (‘87); they were champions at the Oak Lawn Metro League (‘83) and the Calumet Park Metro (‘86); won the championship at Kennedy Park twice (‘82 and ‘86), and won the Ridge Park title four times from (‘82,’83, ‘86, and ‘87). In 1985 they captured the Coors Light “B” Tournament in Blue Island (1985) and were Chicago Park District champions. After making the ASA Nationals in 1983, they took 10th place in 1985 at Marshalltown, Iowa, a tournament highlighted by the perfect game that their pitcher recorded against the Stickmen. The next year they placed 26th in the ASA Nationals at Mt. Prospect. In 1985 Rowan organized the Best of Western 16” Tournament with ten teams playing in its inaugural tournament. The next year it expanded to include a men’s and women’s division. Since its inception, the tournament has continued to grow (with eighteen men’s and fifteen women’s teams) and attracts top male and female players from around the area. It’s not unusual to see Hall of Fame players hooking up with neighborhood players to compete in the tournament. Paul Rowan’s commitment to the neighborhood player can be seen when he presents two honorary trophies at the end of the tournament- the Scott Hurley Memorial MVP Award, given in honor of a neighborhood player who drowned while saving a girl’s life, and the Blainey Butler Memorial Championship Trophy, given in honor of a neighborhood player killed in a snowmobile accident a few years ago. He considers this presentation to be the highlight of the tournament. Besides the Best of Western Tournament, Paul has also organized the All Mixed Up softball team and This Is It in 1990 and 1995. All Mixed Up won the 1990 Sun Times Windy City Classic Recreational title and This Is It took 10th place at the ASA “A” Nationals. In 2002 and 2003 he organzized a softball team for boys and girls in the South Side Catholic Parish League and in 2004 he put together a team of local younger and older players to compete in several local tournaments. Paul Rowan’s goal in the very near future is to organize a women’s city championship series and to create a men’s twenty-five and under tourney in order to get the young players interested in the game. Paul is a Vice-President/Division Manager for Trainor Glass Company. He and his wife of twenty-three years, Joan Each Rowan, reside in Evergreen Park with their two sons and future 16” softball players, Zeke and Luke.