As a kid, Sal Milazzo remembers
watching his dad, Nick Milazzo,
play sixteen-inch softball at Saint
Bonaventure Elementary School in
Chicago. Sal had the opportunity
to play softball in the intramural
program at Northern Illinois
University. After the championship
game his senior year, he was asked
to pitch for the Willoughby Elrod
Raiders at Rogers Park. He played
with them in 1986 and also played with a group of friends in the DPs in the C-League at Mt. Prospect.
After playing with several teams over the next few years, he joined the Road Work team in 1989. In 1994, Sal joined the Bats, a team that competed at the ASA “A” Nationals for two years before moving up to the Major level. In 2001, he moved to the Bucketheads (they became Windy City in 2006). Windy City won the ASA Major title in 2012 and 2013, the ASA Major title in 2010, and the Forest Park No Gloves championship in 2013.
In 2005, to help Bob Ancona, athletic director at Mt. Prospect, plan the ASA tournament to be held at Mt. Prospect, Sal served as a member of the Major Nationals Committee. In 2006, he joined a players’ committee
to assist the ASA in its efforts to encourage more participation in sixteen-inch softball. Over the next few years, this committee focused on seeing the game
from the perspective of the younger player and the recreational player. The committee wanted to build stepping- stones for new teams to grow at their own pace and eventually play more competitive softball.
In 2010, the committee formed
the SSA (Slow-pitch Softball Association) and hosted its first “A” and Major National Tournaments
with a format that allowed the top six finishers in the “A” bracket to get paid bids to the Major Nationals
that year. In addition, the SSA developed “Restricted
A” tournaments. It also separated Major and “A” teams by brackets in “Open” tournaments. In doing this, the SSA was able to reduce tournament entry fees, increase awards, and grow participation through tournament sponsorships. Through these efforts, participation in SSA Major and “A” Tournaments has increased considerably.
Sal attributes much of the success of the SSA to great sponsors like Rich Melman of Lettuce Entertain You, the hard working board members that have worked tirelessly to promote and grow our game, and the acting SSA commissioner, Joel Zimberoff.
Sal and his wife, Janet, live in Hawthorn Woods, Illinois. They enjoy spending time with their children, Savannah, and Brett.