The Alley

The Alley Softball Team was formed in 1973 and consistently played at a high level of competition for more than 25 years. The team’s roots however date back even further to 1965. The team was formed as an outgrowth of Our Lady of Victory Parish’s youth sponsored softball program. Many of the original players started playing in the 5th grade in the youth League at Wilson Park and later participated in C.Y.O. as 7th and 8th graders finding modest success ( two city wide 2nd place finishes). The original members continued to play C.Y.O. Softball throughout their High School Years and beyond. The Alley played for the City wide C. Y. O. finals as seniors winning three Championships(1977,78,79).

The team was made up of various High School athletes who competed in Football, Basketball, and Baseball. They attended Lane Tech H.S. , Weber H.S., Gordon Tech H.S., Loyola Academy, Fenwick H.S. and St. Patrick H.S.. Some members went on and played College Football.

In 1973, The Alley played at Wilson Park and Indian Road Park winning both League Championships. The following year they were invited to play at Clarendon Park’s 21 and under Saturday League and played in the championship game losing to the Aces. The following year they won the Clarendon Park Saturday League.The team played at Riis Park winning the Friday League in 1974. Also in 1974, The Alley played at Independence Park winning their respective division and participated in the Tournament of Champions. They continued to play at Independence Park winning their Division as well as the Park’s Tournament of Champions in 1976.

In 1977, The Alley was invited to play in the following: Clarendon Park Tuesday and Thursday League (League Championship in 1978), Clarendon Park’s Midwestern Tournament ( 2nd place) and Kelly Park Tournament (Semis). They also played in the Portage Park Monday and Wednesday league.

In 1979 The Alley moved to Kosciuszko Park’ Monday and Wednesday League. They won their respective league championships and put together a streak of four consecutive Tournament of Championship titles (79, 80, 81, 82).

In 1980 The Alley moved up in competition by playing in the Portage Tuesday and Thursday League where they played against some very good teams and made the playoffs each year. They also played in the Clarendon Monday and Wednesday League and won the league championship in 1986. They continued to play at Portage and Clarendon into the early 90’s. They also played at Dunham Park winning the Championship in 1989 and the Hiawatha Park Friday League winning the Championship in 1982. In the early 90’s the team played at Dee Park in Des Plaines until 1998.

The Alley played in many tournaments throughout the years including The City of Chicago Metro Tournament, the Andy Frain Tournament and the Midwestern Tournament at Clarendon Park, (finished 2nd in the Midwestern Tournament in 1977) Windy City Tournaments at 95th and Harlem (Championship in 1979), James Park’s North Shore Tournament in Evanston(semis 1985), Forest Park(semis 1985), Trevor, Wisconsin (Championship 1986) , Elk Grove (Championship 1978), Paul Revere Park and Hansen Park (Championship in 1981).

Through the years, this group became a close knit family sharing many significant family events from Weddings, Births of Children, Road Trips, Holiday Celebrations, and any thing else that occurred in every day life. Many original members continued to play together in various Recreational Leagues including the Elk Grove 50 and over and currently the 60 and over Leagues.

Team members include: Player/Managers: Russ Schulberg, Dan Zittnan, Mike Chiaramonte, Billy Mueller, Charles Hagstrom, and Mike Amato.

Also: Bob Laskowski, Jim Gorski, Bob Sobczewski, Steve Citko, Ron Buzinski, Pete Brown, Tom Shoewe, Carl Mucha, Jim Lobus, Mike Huber, Mike Swiatowiec, Al Grember,Jim Hielscher, Bill Schretter, Gary Machjer, Dave Musolf, Roger Musolf, Billy Green, Gary Palicki, Jim Bolger, Jim Maraviglia, Bobby Cook, Gene (Gator), Dan Hennessey, Jerry Shaw, and Tom Levar.