Richard Lubera

During his fifty-year softball career, Dick Lubera wore a lot of hats: he was great player, a great manager, and a great organizer. He played and managed his teams to 590 wins and 100 losses. With a pitching record of 400 wins against only 89 losses, many softball experts of his time called him the Eddie Zolna of the North side. Rich managed and played for the original Roadrunners team from the late ’60s to the early ’80s. He led them to numerous championships at Portage, Mather, Kosczisko and Welles Parks in the ’60s and ’70s. They came in second in the City of Chicago tournaments at Clarendon and Kelly Parks. One year they compiled a record of 112-6. Anyone who knows sixteen-inch softball knows that back “in the day,” kids learned the game in the streets and in the school playgrounds of Chicago. As a teacher with the Chicago Recreation System at Patrick Henry Elementary School (Home of the Champions) on Chicago’s Northwest side, Rich was one of those adults who taught the game to the neighborhood kids. His teams won city softball titles in the midget division (nine to eleven year olds) three times and the junior division (fifteen to sixteen year olds) four consecutive years. At least ten Hall of Famers can trace their beginnings to Dick Lubera. Dick Lubera passed away in 2007. He is survived by his wife, Maria, and four children: Christie, Bill, Perry, and Nick.