Tony “Buzz” Norka

After graduating from Bowen High School in 1936, Tony Norka was recruited by Dust Motors to play in the Windy City League. He stayed with them for two years before moving on to play with the great LaPota Steelers. Once they disbanded Tony continued his softball career with Joe Higgins, Mel Turner, Baltimore Lumber, and Club 22, playing at parks on the southside and at Thillens and Bidwell Stadiums, These teams won numerous park championships on the southside, Tony Norka played shortstop and second base throughout his career. He was a third or fourth hitter who won numerous batting titles in the many leagues he played in. Like many of his peers, his softball years were spent fighting World War II. He served aboard the troop ship, General Gordon, crossing the Atlantic Ocean nineteen times. On one of his trips he returned five thousand German prisoners of war to Virginia. Tony served as a police officer in Chicago for thirty years, retiring as a sergeant in districts on the southside. He worked at Gateway Industries after his retirement before moving to Florida where he headed the security detail for seventeen years at Cypress Wood, a gated community. He and his late wife, Violet, have one son and a granddaughter.