Sherman Nelson was born and raised
on the South Side of Chicago. He
graduated from Englewood High School
in 1954 and joined the United States
Air Force in January of 1955. After
completing a 12 week / eight hours–a-
day IBM technical training course,
Sherman was assigned to a machine
accounting department and spent his
entire Air Force career working in the
data processing / computer field. He was
honorably discharged in 1958. Over the
next thirty-seven years, Sherman worked
in the data processing / computer field
for five different corporations – twenty-
five of those years for the 1st National
Bank of Chicago (now Chase). Sherman retired in 1995 and opened his own computer company, which he operates to this day.
When he was twelve, Sherman and his older brother (by 10 1⁄2 months) Lonnie, were allowed to go to Harding Playground on south Calumet Avenue for recreation.
It was here that he learned to play and love the game of sixteen-inch softball. He pitched for the Lem’s Bar B Q softball team that won the Southside Cocktail League championship two years in a row (1974 and 1975). He became a registered ASA umpire in the mid-‘80s. He officiated many games at Washington Park and Grant Park.
In 2000, Sherman became the manager of the Young Guns softball team. They won the Washington Park Sunday’s Best Softball League that year and also won
the Blue Island Metro ASA National Qualifier, a victory that allowed them to participate in their first state and national tournaments. Starting in 2001, the Young Guns began playing in major-level tournaments and leagues
throughout Chicago and the suburbs.
Sherman guided the Young Guns to twenty-five league or tournament championships over the next ten years. They won ASA National qualifier tournaments three times, won the Washington Park Sunday’s Best League five times, and won the Claude Rhodes Memorial Tournament six times.
They won the Washington Park SB Nite Lite Softball League four times and won the Alsip Elite Sixteen-inch Softball League, the Seventh Annual Mike Royko Memorial Tournament in Grant Park, and the Second Annual
South / West Windy City Classic in Highland Park, Indiana. In addition to these championship victories, the Young Guns also finished second or third in league or tournament play many times.
In 2008, the Young Guns took second out of forty-four teams in the ASA Sixteen-inch State Tournament. In 2010 the Young Guns finished third in the ASA Sixteen inch National Tournament. This accomplishment places Sherman as only the second African-American manager to have his team finish in the top three positions in the ASA Major National tournaments.
Sherman and his wife, Tonie, have four children – Pamela, Lynda, Kelly, Sherman, Jr. and six grandchildren – Chana, Joshua, Ariel, Courtne, Cameron, and Christian. They have lived in the Chatham community on Chicago’s South Side for the past thirty-one years.