Team Safari Tigers

The Safari Tigers 16-inch softball team was formed in April 1969 by Hall of Fame coach Claude Rhodes. The team was formed to counter the negative influences that prevailed in the Washington Park and Grand Crossing neighborhoods of Chicago. Today, this influence is even more necessary and meaningful. In the early 1970s, the Tigers played in area parks on the Southside of Chicago, but in the early 1980s, they sought tougher competition in leagues further west in Chicago and in the suburbs. At first, like many young teams, they took their lumps playing major sixteen-inch teams, but the players matured, sharpened their skills, increased their confidence, and most importantly, grew together into one of the best sixteeninch teams in the country. They demonstrated their excellence in 1984 and 1985 when they became the first African – American team to play in the ASA Nationals. They took second place both years. In 1989 they won the ASA Illinois State Tournament, won the Southside Cocktail League in 1990 and 1991, and hosted the Nationals in Mt. Prospect in 1992. The team disbanded in the fall of 1993. Clayton Jones  Curtis Durns  Mike Price Eric Jones  Larry McGee  Morris Rupert, Jr. Ernie Jones  Cedric Walls  Sam Woodson Sherman Martin, Jr.  Del Morgan  Leonard Woodson Michael Coleman  Donnie Williams  Floyd Neal Ray Warren  Wesley Lee  Mike Colvin Michael Lee  Ken Johnson  Claude Rhodes Randy Lee  Randy Harris