Randy Russ started his sixteen-inch softball career in the late 1980s playing neighborhood ball with the Levee and the Jackmen. Besides sixteen-inch softball, Randy also excelled at baseball. He played at Lewis University from 1987 – 1990. The team competed in the Division II College World Series from 1988 to 1990. They finished third in 1998, fifth in 1989, and third again in 1990. In 1990 he was named Great Lakes Valley Conference Player of the Year. That same year, he was named Division II First Team All American shortstop, an honor given to the best Division II shortstop in the country.
In 1990, following his baseball career, he started playing with the Lightning and the Stooges, a partnership that led to twenty-five plus years playing major softball. Randy played for Ice, Laborers, Splinters, Prime Time, Lettuce, Licorice, Maxim, and Flashback – all elite teams in sixteen-inch softball.
Randy has won eight ASA and SSA National Championships and seven Forest Park No-Glove Nationals. He has been named tournament MVP numerous times. He has been selected as a First Team All-American in all three outfield positions. In 2013, the ASA named him to their Top Twenty-two Players of the Past Fifty Years list. He was selected to the First Team All-Time Mt. Prospect Team. Many players consider him to be the best two-way outfielder to ever play the game.
Randy has been coached by Hall of Fame legends Warren Johnson, Willie Simpson, Wally Filkens, Ron Kubicki, Rich Melman, and Randy’s father, Bob Russ, Sr. One of Randy’s favorite sayings was “it’s not about the championship you win; it’s about who you win them with.
Randy and his wife, Kelly (a softball player herself), have three children – Randy, Jr., Ricky, and Lexi. They live in the Edison Park neighborhood of Chicago. At forty-eight years old, Randy coaches his sons’ travel baseball teams and enjoys watching them play basketball and football. He also enjoys watching his daughter play softball, basketball, soccer, and compete in gymnastics.