The Sorkin family has played sixteen-inch softball for decades. Stuart Sorkin’s father, Harold, played for years on the West Side and in parks and leagues throughout Chicago. He played with many players who would become Sixteen-inch Softball Hall of Famers in the Windy City League, including Jimmy DiVito’s championship teams. Stuart’s aunt played for the original Rockford Peaches.
But the real exposure began when his sister, Sandy, met a member of the Shooter team, Art Lurie. As a kid, Stuart frequented Clarendon Park where he watched some of sixteen-inch softball’s great players on teams like the Bobcats, Sobies and Lyons 45’s. To this day, he is still amazed that park officials had to shoot the clincher with water to weigh it down to keep players from hitting homeruns over Clarendon’s long fences.
An avid sports fan his whole life, Sorkin excelled in baseball at Niles West High School. He later played sixteen-inch softball and hockey. Over the years, he attended many of softball’s big tournaments that included the famous Lettuce Softball teams and Molex teams and got to know many of its stars.
In 1995, Sorkin purchased another Chicago Institution, Affy Tapple Caramel Apple Company. In keeping with its Chicago roots, Affy Tapple began to support the idea of a Sixteen-inch Softball Hall of Fame because he observed the time, energy and vision that Al Maag, Art Lurie and the many other founding board members had for this Hall of Fame.
To help this dream become a reality, Sorkin and Affy Tapple have supported the Hall of Fame by purchasing dinner-book ads and by donating products for twenty-one years, until the Hall of Fame Museum and the Inductee Park opened in 2012.
Stuart thanks Al Maag and Art Lurie for keeping him involved with another great Chicago tradition – sixteen-inch Inch softball.
Stuart and his wife, Holly, have two children – Sydney and Ryan. They live in the Lincoln Park area of Chicago.