Inductees

Antone Thrash

Better known as “Hero” or “Thrash,” #21 Antone Thrash excelled in 16” Softball for two decades. Small in stature, he played the game with sheer heart, leadership and determination, and all out hustle, grit and desire that few could match. Starting as an outfielder with Jack’s Family / Dunbar Park, he moved into the infield …

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Kennedy Park

Kennedy Park was originally created by the Calumet Park District, one of 22 independent park commissions that were eventually consolidated into the Chicago Park District. The park was named for Dennis J. Kennedy, a member of the Calumet Park District Commission who served from 1910 to his death in 1932. The Chicago Park District took …

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Steel Gold

Andrew (Bay Bay) Patterson was looking for a deterrent for the young men living in the Rockwell Gardens Housing community. In 1984, he decided to build a 16inch softball team. In collaboration with existing teams, 340 Invaders and Altgeld Invaders, created a team called California Gold. California Gold played competitively throughout the local park district …

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Bandits

The Bandits were formed in 1976 in Washington Park with players from the Citywide Post Office League. They played in the More Softball League, sponsored by Budweiser Beer, which had 26 teams participating. In their first year they played for the championship, and the following season were undefeated in 22 games to win the championship. …

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Touch

In 1972, a group of guys that played sports in the Garfield Ridge neighborhood decided to form a softball team they called The Band. They proceeded to win the Normandy Park League that year against some American Legion teams & other local teams. The team name changed to Mercury and over the next few years …

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Edward Durica

At the age of 10, a broken arm prevented Chicago born Ed Durica from playing baseball, setting in motion a new passion. He began to hang around nearby Harrison and Dvorak Parks watching softball, eventually taken in by the Gaffers men’s team, given a jersey and becoming their Batboy for two years. By the age …

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Dean Pritt

Dean Pritt began his softball career at the age of 18 when he and sev-en of his friends started playing on a team run by neighborhood legend Joe D’Argenio. After several successful seasons at Blackhawk Park, the younger players started their own team and kept the Traffic name. From 1986-2003, Dean managed the Traffic team …

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Wally “Dee” Dziewinski

Wally Dziewinski grew up in Brighton Park where he played 16” soft-ball with the Southwest Stags Social Athletic Club and Southwest Side out of Chicago. After an injury, he became manager of Jackson Mov-ers, later known as Bat N’ Brew. Bat N’ Brew won 11 championships in the BMSA and La Grange Park Leagues, before …

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Thomas Taff 

The start of Tom’s 40 plus years of playing, managing and organizing 16” softball in Chicago began in 1975 when he went to watch his older brothers play a softball game in the Mount Greenwood Park League. The team was short players and Tom was asked to play. The rest, as they say, is history. …

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Gary Kirch

Gary Kirch was one of three original organizers of the Playboys, a northwest side 16” softball team originally organized in 1964. Evolving from a neighborhood team playing at Chicago’s Jefferson and Chopin Parks, the team became a top- tier powerhouse competing at Clarendon, Portage, Forest Park, James and Indian Road, as well as numerous other …

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