Wally “Sweet Lou” Filkins

Wally Filkins began his 16” softball career in the playgrounds of his Burnside neighborhood. In 1975 he entered the “big leagues” when he joined the Eastsiders where he was to play until 1978. In 1978 he joined Mr. Lucky’s, where he teamed up with fellow Hall of Famer, Larry Kelly. Together they formed one of the best first and second base combinations in softball history. Wally stretched the limits of playing first base when he also played a short right field but was still able to cover the put outs at first with his soft hands and great footwork. In 1981 Wally joined Jimmy Lang’s Whips, a move that was to lead to 5 ASA Championships and 4 USSA World titles. In addition, “Sweet Lou” also won national titles with Sportstation in 1987 and two with Splinters Sports Club in 1991 and 1997 for a total of 8 World Championships. Wally has been named to numerous All-American teams and was named MVP of the ASA Nationals in 1989. He has also won – No Glove National Championships at the Forest Park tournament with three different teams- Mr. Lucky’s, The Whips, and Splinters Sports Club. In addition to playing with some of the great players of the game, Wally is also thankful for having had the chance to play with his three brothers – Les, Randy and Keith. Together the 4 Filkins Brothers own 19 ASA National Championship plaques. Wally also compares the 1983 Whips to the Bobcat teams of the 60’s and 70’s. That year they won every tournament they entered and won the ASA and USSA World Titles. They ended that year with a record of 113 wins and just 8 losses. Wally Filkins played his entire career with the heart and tenacity of a true champion. As Vince Lombardi once wrote. “I firmly believe that at a man’s finest hour – his greatest fulfillment to all he holds dear is that moment when he has worked his heart out in a good cause and lies exhausted on the field of battle-victorious.” This quote summarizes “Sweet Lou’s” love and dedication to 16.