Tom “Eggs” Czarnik

Tom Czarnik began his major softball career in 1976 playing second base and pitching with Murderers Row in the Clarendon and Kelly Park leagues and with the Nocturnes at Kelly Park. Except for a brief stint with Mike McGovern’s Amalamonsters, the early 1980’s found Tom Czarnik joining some high school friends to play with the Rollers, a Northwest side team playing in some of the top leagues. When top-level softball moved to Mt. Prospect, Czarnik joined Cooper’s Sporting Goods, which evolved into Splinter’s Sports Club, sponsored by Al McFarlane. The 1990’s saw Tom Czarnik joining Rich Melman’s Lettuce teams, considered to be the powerhouse teams of the 90’s. Czarnik ended his full time playing career in 2000 with the Miller 45’s. Besides playing in the major leagues, Tom Czarnik never forgot his neighborhood roots. He was a fixture on such neighborhood teams as the Outlaws (Oriole Park), Candlelight Jewelers (Niles), and Music in Motion (Glenview). On the mound Tom Czarnik was known as a fierce competitor and a dedicated Redman chewer who would spit on the ball and chew on a loose seam in order to get an advantage over the hitter. In fact, many in softball consider Tom Czarnik to be one of the top ball and strike pitchers in the history of 16” softball. Besides his pitching prowess, Czarnik was also a top defensive player and a good clutch hitter who could place a ball down either foul line. His skill was quickly noticed at the national level where he was selected to twelve All-American teams. He won three national championships, and was named major nationals MVP three times (1986, 1991, and 1996). He was also named to the first team All-Mt. Prospect League team, an honor bestowed on him by his peers in recognition of his twenty years of league play.