Stan Szukala

Stan Szukala’s career can be divided into three phases; before World War II, after World War II, and behind the plate as an umpire. Before World War II, Stan played with such memorable teams as Champagne Velvet, Tripp Inn, Alderman Brody, 4-11 Café and the Touhy Club. After World War II he moved to Northtown Currency and Champagne Velvet with Mike Vukovich and Bud Schrke. Stan moved to umpiring in 1948 and worked some of the great games at Clarendon and Northtown Parks. In addition to a great career in softball, Stan Szukala made his mark in basketball starting on the DePaul University squad from 1937 to 1940. He was team captain his senior year, when DePaul posted a 22 and 6 record. He was also co-captain of the College All-Star team that defeated the Harlem Globetrotters in Chicago Stadium before a crowd of 20,000 fans. Szukala, the game’s MVP, hit the winning basket in overtime. Stan played professional ball with the Chicago Bruins in the National Basketball league for two years before he entered the military service. He was a key player in Camp Grant’s record of 58 and 6, and won All Army honors as captain of the 34 and 4 Valley Forge General Hospital team. Upon his discharge from the Army, Stan rejoined the National Basketball League, playing for the Chicago American Gears for two years, and leading them to the 1947 National Championship. After retiring from professional basketball, Stan Szukala worked in trucking and public relations for thirty years. He retired from the transportation industry in 1979, and in 2000 he lived in Chicago.