Team “45” Lyons

The Lyon’s 45’s forged an impressive record that places them high in the annals of softball’s top teams. Beginning as a CYO team from St. Pascal’s Grade School, the 45’s competed under long time manager Roy Kindt in the early years at Kosciusko Park. In the late 60’s and early 70’s they moved into the “A” leagues at Clarendon, Portage, and James Parks. With the addition of John Staley, Big Lou, and Zeke, they became one of the most prolific long ball hitting teams in 16″ softball history. With Speedy and Bobby Clark on base ahead of the big three power hitters, and with Dinks, Louie Z, Ed Schaeffer, and long ball hitting Eddie Whitman in the lineup, the 45’s created many big run innings. Defensively the 45’s countered with some defensive standouts: Chopper on the mound, first basemen Billy Shipbaugh and Jimmy Fuller, second basemen Bobby Russ and Mike Christoi, shortstop Mike Levar, outfielder Gino Jozwiak, catcher John Gola, and reserve pitchers Bernie Horne and Tom Kimdt. The 45’s will long be remembered as crowd favorites with their long ball prowess and defensive skills, which paid big dividends. In just six years of playing together they accumulated six Portage Park titles, two first places finishes in Racine, Wisconsin, one Clarendon championship, and a City of Chicago championship and runner-up finish. In addition, they took second place twice in the Andy Frain Tournament and at James Park and a third at bForest Park. A trademark of the 45’s was their loyalty to existing players; they never picked up players once the season started. Thirty years later they still attend the weddings, birthdays and baptisms of teammates.