Richard Triptow

An ad for the old North Town Currency Stadium Calls upon fans to come out and watch Chicago’s greatest sports stars in action. It features Dick Triptow, with a star next to his name as a “crack cage and diamond star from DePaul.” One look at Triptow’s softball accomplishments shows that the ad was not an exaggeration. Dick Triptow played center and left fields for such legendary teams as Lill Coals, American Gear, Miskas, and the3 Witt Hanley Yankees. In 1941, while playing in the Booster-Hamlin League, Triptow was not only selected to their all-star team, but also voted the league MVP. He was also credited with the league’s best play for that year; a one handed, leaping grab of a long ball after a hard run. Offensively, he was a homerun powerhouse, hitting multiple homers in many games. Defensively, he was a standout, throwing out runners from left or center fields and making all-star quality catches. Dick Triptow’s athletic prowess extended beyond the softball fields of Chicago. He was a member of Ray Meyer’s first basketball team at DePaul, and co-captained the 1944 second place team with George Mikan. He played a prominent role in DePaul’s 1944 second place finish in the NIT tournament at Madison Square Garden. He was named to the College All American Team, the Herald American College All Star Team, Pic Magazine’s All American Team, and the All Chicago Stadium Team. Triptow played six years of professional basketball. Three years with American Gear of Chicago, the National Basketball League (forerunner of the current NBA) champs in 1947. He played another three years with the Fort Wayne Pistons (now the Detroit Pistons). Triptow also played three years in the Chicago Cub farm system from 1944 to 1947. From 1950 to 1959, Triptow was head basketball coach and taught a course in business at St. Patrick High School in Chicago. He then headed to Lake Forest College, to head the basketball, soccer and baseball programs for the next 14 years. In 1965 he was named Soccer Coach of the Year by the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics. From 1973 to 1988 he was a counselor and Occupational Education coordinator at Lake Forest High School. He retired in 1988. He and his wife Helen have two daughters and live in Lake Bluff, Illinois.