Team Crush

Crush started out in 1978 when a bunch of high-school friends put together a team and started competing at McGuane Park. In 1979 and ’80 they won the 18 and under title at McGuane. The next year they played in the Donovan Park Open League, made the playoffs, and then took second to the Stickmen the next year.  Mick Balestri joined the team in 1982 and brought five players from DiFoggio Softball to create a Crush team that was ready to play at more competitive levels. In 1983 they beat the Stickmen to win the title at Donovan Park. In 1985 they won the inaugural Henry Murillo, Jr. Tournament at Mount Greenwood and went to their first USSSA State Tournament, finishing second to the Taggers. The next year they took third at the ASA Nationals in Iowa City and won the Blue Island Class “A” League with a 17-0 record.  In 1987 they were ranked number one by the Sun Times and won what was their greatest tournament victory when they won the prestigious Budweiser Metro Park District Tournament. This tournament featured 116 teams. Crush beat the Safari Tigers 4-1 in the televised championship game.  The team finished that season with an 80-20 record with six tournament championships.   In their thirty-three year history, Crush has racked up an impressive record. They won titles in the Kelly Park USSSA Major league three times and in the Clyde Park Super ‘A’ League six times, as well as over 30 league and tournament championships at Armour Park, Boyce Park, Donovan Park, McGuane Park and Normandy Park. They placed in the top ten at the Forest Park No-Glove Nationals four times (5th in 1999, 6th in 2000, 2nd in 2001 and 5th in 2008).  The Crush played in over 20 ASA State Tournaments with a 3rd place finish in 1991 and a 2nd place finish in 1999 and were top ten finishers at the ASA Nationals thirteen times, including National Runner-up six times (1988, 1990, 1997, 2001, 2006 and 2008). They finished five times in the top seven at the NSA World Series. They took third twice in the USSSA “Major” Division and won the first and last USSSA “A” titles (1989 and 1995).  In addition to being a competitive team, they also contributed to the softball community by running the Jimbo’s Crush Spring Classic tournament for 18 years in Bridgeport before moving the tournament to Clyde Park in 2008. Crush has been sponsored by Jimbo’s Lounge, Studio 31, DiFoggio’s Plumbing, Tito’s, O.N.I.A.C, Hometown Distributors, Scoreboard Inn, Beginnings, McGaffer’s, Garv Inn, Tapp City, Jose Cuervo and Top Notch.