Thomas Kelleher

Having brothers who play softball means that you too will probably follow in their footsteps. For Tom Kelleher that came true in 1963 when he was fourteen and started playing left field with his older brother Bob and the Strikers at Foster Park and other parks on the southside. The Strikers later joined with Mike Tallo and some of the Jesters to play in the Major League at Kelly Park. Tom Kelleher and other younger players formed the Younger Strikers (later to become the Strikers when the older team disbanded) to compete in leagues on Chicago’s southside and at Kelly in 1972. In 1974 the Strikers won the ASA Major Division Championship at Dalton, GA. and Kellher was selected to the All Tournament Team as an outfielder. As a leadoff hitter, he was known as a player who could get on base and play excellent defense. After the Strikers, Tom played with the Right-Ons out of Mt. Greenwood and then played with the Banjo Bruins from 1976 – 78 in Tom Bonen’s league in Bridgeview and at Kelly Park’s Major League. He played with the Stompers in 1978 and 79 at Clarendon Park and Kelly before teaming up with his brothers to form the Raiders. Tom Kelleher started a career with the Whips that lasted for four years (82 – 85) and produced ASA National titles in 1983 and 84 and USSSA titles in 1982, 83, and 84. They took second place in the USSSA tournament in 1985. 1986 saw Kellher switch to manager when he took control of Bud Chicago and guided them to the Forest Park title. In 1987 Sportstation won the ASA Major title at Mt. Prospect and were third in Nationals in Marshalltown, Iowa in 1988. Through 1989 ‘91 he managed the Stickmen and took them to the ASA “A” Nationals in Blue Island. With the “A” title, Tom Kelleher might be the only player to win a Major title as a player and an “A” title as a manager. Tom and his wife, Lynn, have two sons – Vincent and Jim- and three stepdaughters – Linda, Rita, and Bobbi. They have eleven grandchildren and live in Lombard, IL. He works at Quabbin Wire and Cable in sales and customer service.