Tony Reibel

Born in 1933, Tony Reibel’s active playing career began in 1952 with Tom Green’s Baseball Inn and Kool Vent Awning at Kells Field (Chicago & Kedzie) in 1955-56 and with the Kenneth Allen team. He batted right-handed and threw right-handed. He was one of the top short centers in the game during the 60s and 70s. His list of accomplishments as an individual player merits recognition for the Hall of Fame alone, but he is best remembered for leading one of the top teams of the 60s & 70s in American Rivet Sobies to over 700 wins over a decade. They were one of the most dominant teams in the game from ‘66 to ‘72. The Sobies won three consecutive ASA National Championships (‘66, ‘67, ‘68). They won over 100 games in both ‘71 and’72 in possibly their finest years, winning every title except the ASA Nationals. The Sobies impressively won the first World Series of Softball in 1974 at Hart Stadium in Blue Island. They also won three Forest Park titles and five Andy Frain Tournament titles. The Sobies’ battles with Eddie Zolna’s Bobcats were legendary and in 1971 the player everyone wanted to watch was the ASA All-American short center. He consistently batted over .500 with power in the cleanup spot. In 1970 he hit .548; 1971 – .560; and 1973 – .503. Tony was so respected as a player, manager, and administrator that he was unanimously elected as the first commissioner of the rebirth of the Windy City League in Bridgeview 1976 -77. Tony was responsible for changing an important rule which is unique to Chicago softball- “the foul third strike rule.” At Clarendon Park in the ‘60s, Tony was known to foul off dozens of pitches in an effort to stall the game, while his team waited for a tardy player because Tony was simply trying to get the pitcher to make a better pitch to hit. Clarendon Park supervisor, George Morse, implemented “foul third strike” rule to speed up the game. Reibel graduated from Lane Tech H. S. on the Northside. He was also asked to help softball and was the first white player to play in a Negro league with Sweetwater Clifton on the Capitol Records team Daddie 0 – Daylie League. He is also a co-founder of the Chicago 16” Softball Hall of Fame. He thanks his wife Marilynn, 5 children and his grandchildren for putting up with his pastime.