Umpiring a minimum of 18 to 20 softball games per week in some of the top leagues in the Chicago area, Tom Frangella has the respect of many of the top players in 16-inch softball. According to Ed Zolna of the legendary Bobcats “ He’s the best umpire, and coming from me, that’s a compliment.” Bob O’Malley of the Cougars states, “ Tom is one of the best. He’s fair. He doesn’t take anything from anybody. But he doesn’t take a hard guy attitude.Frangella’s career began at Grand Crossing Park, Avalon Park, and Russell Square and 62nd and Springfield Avenue before he moved to Grant Park. He umpired at Kelly Park until six or seven years ago. Frangella remembers when Zolna’s Bobcats ruled the world of 16 inch. During his last few years of umpiring, he remembers the Whips, the national champs who played at Kelly Park and in the Blue Island league. Besides softball games, Frangella has also refereed high school football and basketball games, worked briefly in the American Basketball Association, and part-time in the National Basketball Association. A former building engineer, Frangella has nine children and numerous grandchildren.