Rich Melman

Rich Melman has been a baseball player all of his life and retired at the age of 55. He and Joel Zimberoff have managed Lettuce to two runners-up finishes and to three ASA National titles. Lettuce has won every major championship in the game and is considered by many to be the “Yankees” of sixteen-inch softball. In between games, he also is one of the most successful restaurant executives in the world. Besides managing Lettuce, Rich Melman’s efforts were instrumental in attracting more players and teams to sixteen-inch softball. The Grant Park Classic that was televised for six years and the Pro League that was televised for three years was co-founded by Melman and producer David Hynes. The games were televised throughout the Midwest by the Sportschannel crew of Mike North, Steve Kashul, and George Bliss. This exposure created a renewed interest in softball with the ASA reporting increased enrollments by teams, by players in co-recreational leagues, and in tournament participation. Rich Melman also started the Windy City Classic, a league that attracted top “A” teams. This effort worked and the major division now has the best “A” teams competing each week. Rich and his wife, Martha, have three children who have all been encouraged to play Chicago’s great game.