A graduate of St. Rita high school, Joseph “Jake” Schmitz began his softball career at the age of thirteen with the Vipers at Ogden Park and at Byrne Field. He moved to the Blie Hawks in 1953 to ‘54, before he settled into a twelve year stint with the Whips Moaners Club. A short stop who was a fierce and daring base runner, Schmitz has been called one of the finest fielding shortstops in the history of the game. During his career, which many considered the heyday of softball, Jake lead the Whips and the Loafers in the powerful leagues at Clarendon and Kelly Parks. Schmitz led his teams in batting average for his last eight years in the game. Schmitz finished his career with Moore Business Forms, from 1968 to 1976. Throughout his career Jake was known and respected for his aggressive, hard nosed style of play that neither asked for nor gave any quarter. In addition to his superb softball skills, Jake Schmitz also shined on the basketball court at St. Rita. In 1954 his team won the Catholic Light Weight Basketball Championship. He was selected to the All Catholic Team by the Chicago Tribune. Jake had a distinguished career with Continental Can before retiring in 1989. In 2000 he resided in Evergreen Park, Illinois.