William “Dub” Hill

William Hill was raised on the South side of Chicago in the West Woodlawn neighborhood. He attended Mc Cosh Grammar School and Chicago Vocational High School where he played baseball and football. At fifteen, he started playing softball with the West Woodlawn Crusaders as a utility player in the outfield and infield. He played at Langley Field, Washington Park, Mc Cosh Playground and at other parks throughout the city. He was fortunate to have played with Hall of Famers Sweetwater Clifton, Dan Dumas, Bobbie Blackstone, Henry Curry, Leonard McKinnon and other great players. After high school, he enlisted in the U.S. Army during the Korean War, became a paratrooper, and obtained the rank of Sergeant 1st Class at the age of eighteen. He was discharged in 1954 and began a thirty-five year career with the United State Postal Service. He also attended Chicago State University where he majored in personnel management. For the last twenty years of his postal career, he worked with the Postal Inspection Service where he received many honors and was promoted to the rank of lieutenant and became the officer in charge. He retired in 1989 and became an umpire with James Melton and Pete Dawkins (HOF). He was responsible for revitalizing sixteen-inch softball in the African-American community at Washington Park. In 1999 the league was on the verge of folding because teams weren’t signing up due to a lack of leadership. The Sunday League had only twelve teams when he took over. William immediately began making phone calls, knocking on doors, and scheduling meetings with teams and the Chicago Park District to insure that the leagues would continue and to improve field maintenance. He also worked with the park district to install more field lights and to improve the washroom facilities. They also created a new set of playing rules and team schedules. As a result of his efforts, the Sunday League grew from twelve teams to thirty teams, and the weekday league grew to twenty teams between 1999 and 2002,. One third of these teams participated in ASA National Tournaments. In addition, special tournaments such as ASA qualifiers, the He Man, Afro-American Legends, and the Little Ball, Big Ball Tournaments were played at Washington Park. In 2005, the Chicago Park District honored him for producing Steel Gold, the first African-American National Championship team. Mayor Daley also honored him and the team for their outstanding contributions to the community. In 2006 Channel 11 (PBS TV) honored him for keeping softball alive in the community and in 2008, Channel 2 (CBS TV) honored him for his dedication to softball and for building the largest sixteen-inch softball league in the United States. The Washington Park Advisory Council honored him in 2010 for his many years of caring service to the park and for his vision of making Washington Park a focal point for the community. William has been married to his wife, Patricia, for fifty-three years. They have three sons – Steve, Michael, and Joseph.