Rich Mahoney

Rich Mahoney’s softball career started when he, Phil Pieczynski and some other Kennedy High School buddies formed a team named Elite. The problem was that no one on the team was more than eighteen years old, so they had to get permission from other teams to play in the men’s league at Minuteman Park. The age factor, however, didn’t stop them from winning the league title that year. Rich continued winning with Elite in leagues at Bedford Park and Wentworth Park. It was at Normandy Park, however, where Elite moved into big time softball by playing some of the city’s toughest teams and where Rich met Ray Topps and joined the Touch of Class. Going away to college didn’t diminish Rich’s love for softball because he would routinely drive back and forth from the University of Notre Dame from 1978 to 1981 to play in important regular season and playoff games. In 1983 when the Touch joined forces with several members of the Bobcats, Rich got his first taste of Major softball when he played in that year’s national tournament with Hall of Fame players Kenny Flaws, Willie Simpson and Eddie Zolna. It was during his playing time with that team that he learned the fine art of the “dump” hit over the third baseman’s head. With his speed, he would routinely stretch a single into a double with a headfirst slide. If the outfielder “cheated”, he would drive a long ball or hit to the gaps. Defensively, he settled into playing either third base or first base, digging out balls in the dirt or snagging line drives with his soft hands. In 1984 he played in eleven leagues and tournaments, playing nearly every weekend. That year Touch took fourth at the Nationals. In 1985 Touch won the Kelly Park League along with other tournaments, but their greatest accomplishment came when they captured the title at the 1985 National at Marshalltown, Iowa. In 1988 he tore his ACL and not only had to miss the entire season but had to change his route home from work to avoid passing a softball field. In 1989 he rejoined Touch. They lost to the Whips 2-1 in a semi-final game in Mt. Prospect, a game that many softball historians call one of the greatest games ever played. He was named to the 1st Team All-American team at that tournament. He retired from softball after the 1991 Nationals. Today he still plays occasionally in a thirtynine and over league but spends most of his time attending his children’s athletic endeavors. He and his wife, Michelle, have three children, Alanna, Spencer and Zack. They live in La Grange Park, Illinois. Rich is president of Hinsdale Bank and Trust Company.