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Larry Downes

Larry Downes’s softball journey began at Grant Park about 1968 where his Dad’s Continental Bank team played hundreds of games during his childhood. His Mom would take him downtown on the CTA bus to watch. He would watch them play in the ‘Pit’ at Grant Park. While the games were going on, he would pitch …

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Thornton T. Lee

Thornton Lee was born and raised on the South Side of Chicago. He graduated from Chicago Vocational High School, served in the Army during the Vietnam Era, and attended Kennedy-King College and Chicago State University. He began paying organized sixteen-inch softball with the Challengers at Washington Park. He later played for the Bandits, Bad Company, …

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Lisa Lovato

Lisa Lovato was born and raised in Blue Island, Illinois along with her seven brothers and three sisters. She started playing organized softball as a shortstop for the Bandits when she was nine. She batted leadoff due to her speed and ability to get on base.  In her second year of softball at age ten …

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Colleen Linhart

  Growing up in Calumet Park made it very easy to be sports orientated. The town and schools were ahead of their time by offering several sports opportunities for girls. Attending Seven Holy Founders Grade School, Colleen competed in both softball and volleyball leagues. She graduated from Dwight D. Eisenhower High School in Blue Island …

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Team Lettuce

We showed up; we played hard. We won our fair share; we had a good time.These words by Hall of Fame manager Rich Melman summarize Lettuce softball during the 1990s. Melman and Joel Zimberoff managed Lettuce to one USSSA title in 1994, three ASA runners-up finishes (‘91,’97,’99), and four ASA National titles (‘92,’93.’96,’98). They also …

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Team “45” Lyons

The Lyon’s 45’s forged an impressive record that places them high in the annals of softball’s top teams. Beginning as a CYO team from St. Pascal’s Grade School, the 45’s competed under long time manager Roy Kindt in the early years at Kosciusko Park. In the late 60’s and early 70’s they moved into the …

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John Lee

Starting in grammar school, John C. Lee spent nearly half of his life playing his favorite sport:  softball. By age fifteen, he was learning the art of six-teen softball by serving as a bat boy for teams in the Pro Windy City League. In 1949, he played for the Alcott Aces, and helped them win …

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Jimbo Levato

Three things come naturally to Jimbo Levato; 16″ softball, socializing and working. And few people have mixed in the things they value as well as Levato. Perhaps because of that, Levato, who turned 67 three days after his induction to the Hall of Fame, has the demeanor and physical movement of a much younger man. …

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Art Lurie

For over forty years, Art Lurie has been involved in 16” softball. Growing up in Albany Park on Chicago’s Northwest side, Lurie got the taste for 16” as a bat boy for his father, Irv, who played in the legendary Windy City League. Art moved on to Roosevelt High School, where he played with the …

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Paul Leonard

      Blue Island resident Paul Leonard made his transition from a 16″ softball player to an umpire early in his career for a simple reason – he needed money after getting married. In 31 years behind the plate, Leonard would approach each game as if it was the most important of his umpiring career. In …

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