Rich Catizone started playing softball when he was fourteen. He played on local teams with his friends on the playgrounds in Chicago. He was young and inexperienced and his teams lost most of their games, but he loved the game from the beginning.
A few years later, Rich met Hall of
Fame manager Nick Camillo. He played
with Nick and his friends for a few
years as he improved his skills, learned
the game, and competed at a more
competitive level. As a result, he formed
the Travelers and eventually the Check
Mates, two teams that regularly played
in competitive tournaments. These two teams featured eight players who would eventually be inducted in the Hall of Fame.
After his playing days, Rich managed the Penguins, an “A” level team that played in the Windy City Classic at
Grant Park. He also consulted with the management of Flash and Puglise and contributed to their success. Puglise defeated Lettuce in 1999 to win the Forest Park No Gloves title.
Rich’s teams have won many games and he has played with and against some
of the best players in softball. He hung up his spikes at the age of forty-eight, but he remains close to the game as
a spectator and true fan of the game. He is also an excellent scout of talent. In the mid-90s, he was named to the All-Gumbo Team as its Chief Scout by Jimmy Divito, a local radio-host and
legendary player on the Blues.
As a friend of softball, Rich has been surrounded by players – young and old – who show him the respect and courtesy he has earned from his years of playing and managing and for his passion for the game.