Team Eastsiders Softball

In 1976, John “Muggs” Mirabelli, a veteran softball player, decided to start a softball team to introduce his brothers, Gar and Todd, to the game. They started out as Little Ray’s Bar, playing in leagues at Cal, Wolfe, and Bessemer Parks. After some success in 1976, Mirabelli brought in new players, expanded his goals, and changed the team name to the Eastsiders. They picked up Dan Crnjak, Tom Newman (HOF), Joe Somodi, Ed Borngraver and Ron Amazzalorso from the Huns. Dave Jesky, Chuck “Bosh” Milosavljevic Bob Pagorek (HOF), Matt Dosen, SR (HOF), Nick Hecimovich, Bill Miller, and John Kavanaugh also joined the team. (Kavanaugh also managed). With their newly stocked team, the Eastsiders played in leagues around the South side and south suburbs of Chicago. They also competed in every tournament they could get into. Not afraid to shy away from tough competition, the young Eastsiders competed against many “major” teams. In their first national appearance in 1980, they beat the tournament favorite Raiders and finished fifth in the tournament. After that they regularly battled such major teams the Whips, Touch, and Safari Tigers. They won the Blue Island Major League title in the mid-’80s against some great competition. They lost to the Whips by a run in the playoff championship. Success brought more great players. The Eastsiders soon developed a reputation as a great defensive team with a decent offense and as a team that would battle to the end. They continued to play major softball, winning league titles and championships throughout the Chicago area. In 1991 when the Whips disbanded, they picked-up Jim Lang, Jr. and Hall of Fame players Rich Ladewig, Dave Bischoff, Bob McClelland, and Randy Filkins. That year they won numerous leagues and tournaments but fell flat in the national in Kingman, Arizona. After 1998, with many players reaching their forties, they decided to compete in “A” tournaments and leagues. That year they combined with players from the Beverly area to form The Men From Uncle, named for “Uncle Pete” Crnjak (HOF), a long-time sponsor. They dominated “A” ball that year by winning a state and ASA National title at Joliet. Todd Mirabelli has managed this team and has managed the Eastsiders ever since, leading them to multiple titles at the Best of the Western Tournament and other tournaments. Much of the team’s nucleus still competes with many sons playing along side their fathers. 2003-2010 the Eastsiders played in Hall of Famer Pat McGuire’s Mann Park League winning all eight years. In 2011, for the first time since 1977, the Eastsiders did not compete, due to injuries and bad scheduling. But 2012 is a new year, so stay tuned for more Eastsiders softball! They would like to thank their long-term sponsors: Alderman Ed Vrdolyak, Uncle Pete Crnjak, Jim’s Lakeside Inn, Spike’s Lakeside Inn, T’s Tap, O’Hara’s Tavern, and Elmwood Chapel.
Eastsiders Players Ron Amazzalorso Tim Kavanaugh Kevin Oost John Banach Ben Kokolowski Steve Ostoich Mark Benson Bobby Krauss Bob Pagorek, Sr. * Matt Biondic * Bill Kress Bob Pagorek, Jr. Steve Biondic Joe Krutilla John Pazlowski Dave Bischoff * Bob Kujawa Harry Peterson Ed Borngraver, Jr. Rich Ladewig * John Puchalski Bob Cundiff Jim Lang, Jr. Jim Puplava Luddy DeFlippo Al Lasowski Johnny Rogers Matt Dosen, Sr. * Pat Lindeman Larry Rosol Matt Dosen, Jr. Tim Lindeman Steve Ruzic Marty Dosen Fred Lorenzatti Jim Saggu John Esposito Paul Martens Tom Sandanoto Kevin Fanta John Marciniak Jim Sherlock Jim Farrell Joe Massina Dan Skipton Keith Filkins Bob McClelland * Pete Socci Randy Filkins * Tony Megaro Joe Somodi John Flowers Ron Michi Tonto Somodi John Furlan John Milanovich Mike Standley Bill Gleeson Steve Milanovich Robin Stanley Jay Gryzlak Bill Miller Scott Starcevich Terry Harris Chuck Milosauljevic Tom Stelmaszek Nick Hecimovich Gar Mirabelli Paul Stubich Tom Hendron John Mirabelli Brian Summers John Haase Mike Mirabelli John Tomaska Bob Hooper Todd Mirabelli Lee Tornicasa Jan Hrisinko Corey Newman Joe Tumpich Wayne Jazwierski Jeremy Newman John Tumpich Dave Jeskey Tom Newman * George Youkovich John Kavanaugh, Sr. Brian Nowakowski John Kavanaugh, Jr. Bob Oganovich * indicates Hall of Fame Inductee