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Sherman Nelson

  Sherman Nelson was born and raised on the South Side of Chicago. He graduated from Englewood High School in 1954 and joined the United States Air Force in January of 1955. After completing a 12 week / eight hours–a- day IBM technical training course, Sherman was assigned to a machine accounting department and spent …

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Jimmy Nallen

From playing with Electrician’s Local 714 at Garfield Park at sixteen years of age to playing with Sam’s in the St. Charles League at the age of sixty, Jimmy Nallen has been a major factor on teams (Whips, Rogues, Bruins) that have amassed 117 championships, including world titles with the Sobies and Metro and Forest …

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North Western Railroad Chicago

When the history of industrial teams is written, Chicago and North Western Railroad will certainly rank as one of the greatest teams because of its record and its longevity. Started in the 1920s, a 1925 photo of the team shows a twenty-three year old Abe Saperstein as the team’s shortstop and manager, the year before …

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Team North Shore Congregation

Long before cable television, internet, and air conditioning occupied our modern world, Chicagoans beat the summer’s heat by walking outside, sitting on the front porch, or watching a new sport that was sweeping Chicago : 16-inch softball. In 1937 North Shore Congregation of Chicago defeated Federal Auto Supply 9 to 2 in the first inter-city …

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Mike North

Raised in Chicago’s Rogers Park neighborhood, Mike’s first real job was as a hot dog vendor at Wrigley Field and Comiskey Park in 1969. After a stint in the military and several jobs with the City of Chicago, Mike capitalized on his talent for serving hot food and spicy sports talk when he opened his …

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Dave Novak

“No gloves. Never had them, Never will.” This motto, coined by Dave Novak best summarizes his years of dedication to Chicago’s game – 16” No Glove Softball. Dave began his career at the Park District of Forest Park 23 years ago in 1974 when Jim Sarno hired him as Softball League Supervisor. From 1975 to …

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Tom Newman

Most great softball players grew up playing the game in the parks and schoolyards of the Chicagoland area. Young players would begin playing the game as soon as they could pick up the ball, and they competed against the older guys in the neighborhood until they could one day beat them at their own game, …

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Salvatore “Sal” Novello

     Sal Novello began his softball career as a teenager on the Northwest side of Chicago at Athletic Field Park located at Addison and Drake. He formed the Addison Bears, a neighborhood team that featured the likes of John Hechinger (HOF) and Don Campbell, a power hitting infielder who later led Clarendon Park in homeruns …

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Lane Niemann

Lane Niemann started the Rizza Rockers in 1986. He managed and played for them until 1999. They played in leagues from North Riverside to Mt. Prospect and won league championships in North Riverside, Clyde Park, and LaGrange and tournament titles in the Suburban Life, Forest Park, Clyde Park, and Hawthorne Park tournaments. They won the …

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Tony “Buzz” Norka

After graduating from Bowen High School in 1936, Tony Norka was recruited by Dust Motors to play in the Windy City League. He stayed with them for two years before moving on to play with the great LaPota Steelers. Once they disbanded Tony continued his softball career with Joe Higgins, Mel Turner, Baltimore Lumber, and …

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