Before moving behind the plate to call balls and strikes, Tom McClelland played with some of the top teams of sixteen-inch softball. He grew up in the Norwood Park neighborhood on Chicago’s Northwest Side. He started playing sixteen-inch softball in seventh grade at Immaculate Conception Elementary School.
He played outfield and pitched for the Bobcats in Eddie Zolna’s (HOF) last year as a manager. Tom played at the Major level (as an outfielder and then as a pitcher) for twenty-two years with the Mets (four years), the Playboys (eight years), the Taggers (seven years), and Lettuce Entertain You (three years). He pitched the second no-hitter in the history of the USSSA Nationals in 1986 with the Meister Brau Taggers. He went 31-4 pitching for Lettuce in 1992, the year they took second in the Forest Park No-Glove Nationals, and won the ASA State Tournament, the ASA Nationals, and numerous league titles. In 1997, he was the oldest person (at forty-five) selected as a 1st Team All-American in the ASA Major Nationals.
Tom has umpired over 1800 softball games at all levels of competition, including ….
- Thirty-six ASA Major Qualifiers
- the Grant Park Tournament (1993 to 1998)
- the Illinois State Tournament (1993-1998, 2000-2002, and 2004-2013)
- the winners’ final bracket and championship games on the Forest Park No- Glove Nationals (2000-2002 and 2004-2014)
- the Championship game of the Chicagoland Classic Tournament (2002, 2004- 2006, and 2009-2014), including ten championship games
- the Westchester Tournament of Champions (seven championship games)
- Major League softball at Mt Prospect Classic League (1993 – 1998 and 2000- 2014), the Forest Park “Pro” TV League (1996 -1998, and league in Bensenville, Lisle, LaGrange and Westchester /Hodgkins.
- the Forest Park Major League (2010-2014)
Tom and his wife, Corrine, have two children, Kristen and the late Ryan and four grandsons – Alex, Ben, Matt, and Will. They have lived in Elk Grove Village for thirty-two years.