New York Times Article
Herald American Article
North Town Currency Stadium Ad
Al Maag Article – Chicago Metro Softball
June 2009 – Hall of Fame Inductee Park Program
September 2008 – ASA Major Nationals Broadcast Part One Flashback vs Stover of Iowa
July 2008 – 14th Annual Terry Moran Day!
March 2008 – Best team in Phoenix – Rising from the Ashes
1/1/2007 – 2007 HOF Iductees and Honorees Announced
Dear Inductees, families and friends of softball,
The big day is near and our board is working towards making the unveiling of Inductee Park a memorable program at Forest Park on Sunday, July 19th. Basic info is: 11am ceremony, 11:25 plaque/displays unveiled, 12:30-1:00 North vs. South Celebrity Hall of Fame game organized by Rich Melman.
Our initial sponsors include; March Manufacturing, Vienna (what’s better than a Chicago dog on that day), followed up with Affy Tapple for dessert and last but not least we are talking about memories…how about KODAK SOFTBALL MEMORIES, yes one of the icons in world joins our program !!! We of course are looking for more sponsors…just contact Art Lurie our program chair (who is cc’d) or me.
If you ever considered helping the building fund project now is the time…run an ad in the souvenir program. Market your company, honor a relative, team or inductee. But move fast. Send art, a business card or we can print a previous ad run in past dinner books. Starting one minute after the ceremony we begin the funding effort for the museum which is expected to be around $400,000…so please help us get jump started by running an ad. We will have more items to buy that day and bricks that will be displayed forever at the park are still available online…16inchsoftballhof.com.
Every dollar and donation counts, it adds up! It was only one year ago when we announced the two phase plan and we needed $100-150,000 for phase 1. YES we can do this again in phase 2 and sure it may take longer to consolidate/create all the content for the history museum, but we can do it with your investments and donations. As a reminder we are a tax deductable organization; 501(c)3. There are no salaries for our board and all net proceeds will be ticketed for the HOF building fund !!!
Note: we would love to have any memorabilia for the museum that day too. The construction lead by Ray Topps and Ron Kubicki is almost done. We expect the largest turnout of Hall of Famers ever…what a day…tell your friends, but whatever you do…don’t miss this event.
On behalf on the Chicago 16″ Softball Hall of Fame Board
thanks you for your support of our great game…Chicago’s Game.
Click here for the PDF of the Flyer
Click here for Ad Rates, Sizes and Order Form
RBI Pictures, LLC, is proud to offer the motion picture “SPRINKLE THE INFIELD” as an investment opportunity. They are seeking an additional qualified investment group or individuals that would like to become involved in the motion picture industry. Writer/Producer, Mik Scriba (native Chicagoan), has over thirty years experience in the entertainment industry. His company, RBI Pictures will handle the overall production of this film along with Director, Alan J. Levi, DGA, an award-winning Writer, Producer and Director. He is a forty-year veteran of the motion picture industry.
Some Tournament footage has already been shot in the Chicagoland area with many of our well known players and teams. Plans are being finalized to shoot the film in August and September 2009.
For a synopsis of the story, to view the trailer and get a real taste for this movie visit: http://www.rbipictures.com
They are looking for any size investment….when doing an Independent film, they all add up.
Interested investors can visit http://www.rbipictures.com/Investment_Package.html
The Crush from Chicago’s Southside won the 1st tournament of the year in Tempe, Arizona today over Xtinkt from Yuma, AZ. NCAA elite 8 games, LPGA, 10 spring training games may have been on most sports fans radar screens but quite a few folks watched 16″ Softball Hall of Fame pitcher Mickey Balestri lead his new version of Crush in 4 straight wins in beautiful weather. Star of the event was Darren Nepoti who had 4 homeruns at the right moment in 3 games. Short Center Rich Hennessey also contributed mightily. The team won $450 in the progress cash payout 9 team venue.
Dugan LaRose’s Xtinkt (4-2)played solid all day beating defending champ Dirks Moving (after that had lost to Crush in the winner’s bracket lead game) to enter the championship game. Dugan has 3 sons who are on the team…they were the # 2 team in 12″ softball in ’08.
We also learned the 2010 A Nationals will be Yuma.
“We are very proud we put on our 3rd great venue…with two umpires each game, raffles, music, Chicago dogs, fun and laughs, great sportsmanship and awesome defense. The main benefactor were quite a few kids who would get toys that were donated by each team. Arizona is the place to be in March, see ya next year,” stated tourney organizer Al Maag
Note: This event raised $300 and approx 24 toys
Flash Back has done it!! They are the 2008 Major Nationals Champions of 16 Inch Softball winning in Crystal Lake, IL over Iowa’s Stover 11-1 in 5 innings in “if’ game. This Stover’s 2nd 2nd place finish in a row . The A champs are Kings who defeated the Crush (their 7th 2nd place finish) 5-3 in the “if” game in Iowa.
Ralph Lawrence was the tourney MVP.
Lawrence opened up the tourney Friday Night with a key HR to propel his Flashback Team to an Upset Victory over the past champs Miller 45’s.
From George Bliss Hotline
CHICAGO-After a decade-long site search, The Chicago 16-Inch Softball Hall of Fame finally has found a home for its museum and inductee park in west suburban Forest Park, IL.
“Our decade-long search has ended, thanks to the support of the park officials and commissioners of Forest Park,” said Al Maag, co-founder of the Chicago 16-inch Softball Hall of Fame (HOF).
A sneak preview of the 1,400-square-foot future museum building and adjacent inductee park site, located on the corner of Harrison St. and Des Plaines Ave. in Forest Park, will be held at 12:30 p.m. on Saturday, July 19th, Magg said.
The event will launch formal fund-raising to pay for renovation of the building and the Hall of Fame site.
“The Forest Park location has many assets, such as being next to the ‘Wrigley Field’ of 16-inch softball. And, the No-Glove National Tournament-attended by thousands of fans-is held here every July,” Magg said.
Since 1996, more than 300 individuals and teams have been inducted or honored annually into the Chicago 16-Inch Softball Hall of Fame in men’s and women’s players, umpire, organizer, manager, team, and supporter categories.
The rarely-used existing building on the site will be donated and used as the museum to showcase the game’s history and importance to Chicago.
The Chicago 16-inch Softball Hall of Fame will pay for all upgrades through donations and private fund-raising efforts. The park will display the plaques of each inductee.
The building committee is led by HOF board members Ron Kubicki and Ray Topps, Jr.
“Ron Kubicki and I have had the help of architects from FMG and Sigalos and Associates, and three design bids for the museum and park design has yet to be finalized, but current plans by 3D Exhibits will be our initial design winner,” Topps noted.
“One unique factor in this program is that so many softball players are in the construction business and some will be our craftsmen,” Kubicki said. “We have been offered materials and the time and talent of many volunteers. Due to that fact we are not positive what the cost will be but we are budgeting $500,000.”
Forest Park Director Larry Piekarz added: “This is so wonderful because it represents an upgrade to our park program. Once the old building is renovated it will be a jewel in our park complex and will provide educational value to thousands of children, Forest Park citizens, and visitors.”
“It’s an honor for our city to be an integral part of this tribute to the greatest players of Chicago’s great game,” said Howard “Bud” Boy, president of the Park District of Forest Park board. “The Hall of Fame will be a destination of choice for our citizens and guests. They will love it.”
According to HOF board member Art Lurie, the museum and park will be “a labor of love” to finalize and bring to the public the game’s history, which threads through generations of Chicago families.
“Stories of inductees and honorees such as: Mike Royko, Sweetwater Clifton, Ed Zolna, Mary Pat McGuire, Rich Melman, Mel Thillens, Bob Sirott, Mike North and Tony Reibel will be among those told,” Lurie said.
“It is our intention to describe how the game of softball was invented here in 1887, how balls and bats are made, display uniforms, the different eras and styles of the game’s evolution, and Forest Park’s impact on the game since 1933,” Lurie said. “And all the inductee plaques will be exhibited outside so anyone interested can see them anytime.”
“Our committee is looking for memorabilia and donations to raise money for the museum, starting today online, and also will be showing our plans at the Forest Park 40th No-Glove Nationals,” said HOF president, Gary Thorsen.
“We are expecting our committees and inductees to start the building fund effort, but our new association management firm, Landon, Farrey & Associates, will also be helping us raise the funds through sponsorships, too,” Thorsen said. “3D Exhibits has also offered to tag and warehouse all the memorabilia, which will be a huge task. It will be a long journey and we will need a big grass roots effort to accomplish the task.”
The Chicago 16-Inch Softball Hall of Fame (HOF) was formed in 1996 to promote the great Chicago game that was born in Windy City by honoring and recognizing the sport’s best players, umpires, teams and supporters.
For more information, please call 630-554-5049. To donate on-line to the Hall of Fame museum and inductee park, visit our donate page.
Hall of Fame Co-founder Al Maag of the Chicago 16-Inch Softball Hall of Fame has announced that its museum and hall of fame park will be located in Forest Park, Il. “Our decade-long search has ended, thanks to the support of the park officials and commissioners of Forest Park,” Maag said. “The location has many assets, such as being next to the ‘Wrigley Field’ of 16-inch softball; and the no-glove tournament nationals–attended by thousands–are held here every July.” Since 1996, more than 300 individuals and teams have been inducted or honored annually into the Chicago 16-inch Softball Hall of Fame in men’s, women’s, umpire, organizer, and supporter categories.
The museum and adjacent park will be located on the corner of Harrison St. and Des Plaines Ave. The rarely-used 1,400 sq. ft. building at the site will be donated and used as the museum to showcase the game’s history and importance to Chicago. The Chicago 16-Inch Softball Hall of Fame will pay for all upgrades. The park area will display the plaques of each inductee.
The building committee is led by Hall of Fame board members Ron Kubicki and Ray Topps, Jr. Topps noted, “Ron and I have had the help of architects from FMG and Sigalos and Associates, and three design bids, the museum and park design has yet to be finalized, but current plans by 3D Exhibits will be our initial design winner.” Kubicki said. “One unique factor in this program is that so many softball players are in the construction business and some will be our craftsmen. We have been offered materials and the time and talent of many volunteers. Due to that fact we are not positive what the cost will be but we are budgeting $500,000.”
Forest Park Director Larry Piekarz added, “This is so wonderful because it represents an upgrade to our park program. Once the old building is renovated it will be a jewel in our park complex and will provide educational value to thousands of children, Forest Park citizens, and visitors.”
“This will be one of the most exciting attractions in our city,” said Howard “Bud” Boy, Forest Park Park District Board president. “It’s an honor for our city to be an integral part of this tribute to the greatest players of Chicago’s great game. The Hall of Fame will be a destination of choice for our citizens and guests; they will love it.”
According to Hall of Fame board member Art Lurie, “The museum and park will be a labor of love to finalize and bring to the public the game’s history, which threads through generations of Chicago families. Stories of inductees and honorees like Mike Royko, Sweetwater Clifton, Ed Zolna, Mary Pat McGuire, Rich Melman, Mel Thillens, Bob Sirott, Mike North and Tony Reibel will be among those told. It is our intention to describe how the game of softball was invented here in 1887, how balls and bats are made, display uniforms, the different eras and styles of the game’s evolution, and Forest Park’s impact on the game since 1933. And all the inductee plaques will be exhibited outside so anyone interested can see them anytime. ”
The Hall of Fame board lead by president Gary Thorsen have been working on this project since last year. They voted unanimously to move forward on the project in March, but continued to prudently review all options and created a 3 year business plan to market the sport and the museum/park in June. Details and how to donate or sponsor the building fund will be announced on 7/19.
Organizer, Frank Fiarito, “In memory of a great ball player, and hall of fame inductee Terry Moran is probably the biggest tournament of the year team wise excluding the State tournament, we usually have between 30 and 40 16-inch teams, we had 45 last year.”
Five divisions this year : 3 Men’s 16-Inch (over 50, Recreational and A), a 14-Inch Co-Rec and a Women’s 12-Inch.
The cost is minimal $50 for over 50 and $100 for the other divisions. Guaranteed two games and every player receives a Terry Moran Day shirt.
We have a fishing day contest, children’s games, food and bands. Held in Rolling Meadows. All proceeds to JDRF.
For more info: email@example.com
JUNE 2008 – Sprinkle the Infield, a 16″ softball movie that is ready for the 1st pitch and looking for investors.
Here is a preview of a movie being made about Chicago’s Game.
Take a look at the preview… many of the scenes are from Forest Park and the faces will be familiar.
If you have any comments, please feel free to send an email to the producer/writer Mik Scriba firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mik is an actor/writer from Chicago who lives in LA but loves the 16″ game. His team the Mutts do play 16″ in a Manhattan Beach league.
JUNE 2008 – There is a fantastic “50 and over” and “60 and over”, 16 inch league that is thriving in Elk Grove Village, Illinois.
If some of you do not know this by now.. I came upon a fantastic 50 and over and 60 and over 16 inch league that is thriving in Elk Grove.
Every Monday Night, a whole bunch of teams play over at Devon and Arlington Hts Road.
I mean a whole lot of neighborhood guys playing the game we all love… Chicago’s Game. I came to meet two legends at Elk Grove. Mr. Joe De Lorenzo and Jim Heffern.
Joe writes an amazing blog called over 50 network.
You can access it by going to:
Also you can email Joe at email@example.com
Next we have Jim Heffern who started the 50 and over league some years ago. Jim is a Korean War Vet and has done broadcasting gigs all over the world.
It is my humble opinion that this league will grow by leaps and bounds and if you want to bring back what we all had and still love, (our past love of Chicago’s game), please contact Mr. Joe De Lorenzo and get a team entered into this league. You will love the fields and how they have the rules set up. Email Joe at firstname.lastname@example.org
I am going to recommend that the blog Over 50 Network is integrated right into the 16 inch hall of fame web site going forward.
Great work guys at Elk Grove!!!
George Bliss Softball Hotline
P.S. Wouldn’t a 50 and over Nationals be a fantastic idea??
And How about a 60 and over Nationals?? Les Duncan, Tommy Oneal, Bob Ancona, Gary Kasanders, Larry Piekarz, Hello??????
APRIL 2008 – Gary Thorsen, president of the Chicago 16″ Softball Hall of Fame has announced the message board of our website is functional.
Gary Thorsen, president of the Chicago 16″ Softball Hall of Fame has announced the message board of our website is functional. “We are beginning with a few categories; current events which will include tourney results, dinner program suggestions and comments on the event and book, general HOF questions that can be answered by any board member, Inductee questions, our awaited museum questions and a general open forum. I have thought and hope our passionate softball fans will check it out and make comments as often as they wish”.
Note:starting out like many websites the posts are not shown live but reviewed and then posted ASAP by HOF administrators to make this family orientated website user friendly.
The best team in is Phoenix Dirks Moving and Storage, a terrific young group of players who are beginning to love 16″ softball. Like the Phoenix they rose from the ashes after a 1st round 8-6 loss to Crush…then won 6 straight in the loser’s bracket winning the 2nd annual Maag Toy Foundation 10 team softball tourney in Tempe today. They won two championship games vs Yuma’s 4th Ave Gym…the won the first game in 11 innings and then 8-4 in the if needed game.
The 4th Ave Gym won the winners bracket over Torrance California’s Tappa Keggas who came in 3rd.
The 1st big team to exit and stun the attendees was Chicago’s Warhawks (1-2)…losing to Yuma’s Extinct and Dirks. Mickey’s Balestri’s Crush (2-2) lost to 4th Ave Gym in extra innings and then played 10 innings with Avnet’s Dry Heat..avenging a loss in the nationals…Al Maag and Pete Graf’s entry upset the Chicagoans who were wearing down.
It was a breakthrough day for Arizona 16″ softball with so many close games, great defensive plays and stellar hitting….with the normal Beautiful weather. There was a tremendous amount of enthusiasm of the attendees to return with more teams from Yuma and California. In PHX there is talk about a league…we raised $500 for charity, all the teams bought toys, and everyone had a great time. FYI every win teams won money…an idea hatched by Frank Holan years ago.It is a safe bet 16″ will be growing in AZ.
THE HOME FRONT – By Don DeBat
Chicago, a world-class city, is buzzing about the possibility of hosting the 2016 Olympics and the related real estate development boom that would accompany the games.
Experts say local real estate developers are just itching to get their hands on the Olympic Village site, the 37-acre McCormick Place truck staging area, or at least the air rights above the depot.
One scenario calls for the Metropolitan Pier & Exposition Authority (McPier), a city-state agency controlled by the city, to sell the air rights it owns over the land south of McCormick Place to a consortium of developers who would build several thousand apartments for nearly 17,000 Olympic officials and athletes.
After the two-week Olympics ends, many of the apartments at the $1.1 billion Olympic Village would be converted to a new Near South Side condominium neighborhood that likely would resemble an extension of the giant Central Station development near Soldier Field.
Some of the money McPier and the city make off the air rights deal would be funneled to Chicago 2016, the local Olympic organizing committee which would use the funds to develop a temporary Olympic stadium in Washington Park on the South Side.
Meanwhile, nearby Grant Park, Chicago’s green front yard and site of a dozen softball diamonds, would likely become an ‘Olympic Fest’ location’a party playground that would attract 100,000 people a day with high-tech international-nation kiosks, giant video screens showcasing live Olympic events and big-name entertainment. Upper Hutchinson Field, a four-diamond complex on the west side of Columbus Drive, is the proposed site of Olympic archery competition.
With all these grand plans and trampled grass on the drawing board, Chicago-style 16-inch slow pitch softball’a local sport that relies on public park space’could really suffer, enthusiasts say. The Washington Park site chosen for the temporary Olympic stadium currently is used daily by South Siders for softball leagues. Softball likely would be eliminated at the park, experts say.
‘Sixteen-inch softball is Chicago’s game, but it is not on the Olympic agenda,’ said Gary Thorsen, president of the Chicago 16-Inch Softball Hall of Fame. Visit: www.16inchsoftballhof.com.
The group currently is hunting for a permanent Chicago-area site to erect a museum to honor inductees and the history of the game, which ironically was born indoors in 1887 in a gym at the old Farragut Boat Club on Lake Park Avenue near 31st Street’a softball toss from the proposed site of the Olympic Village.
Historians say on that chilly Thanksgiving Day, George Hancock, a reporter for the Chicago Board of Trade, picked up a boxing glove and tied it into a sphere using the laces. He marked off bases and home plate on the gym floor with chalk and used a broomstick for a bat.
Today, 120 years later, dozens of teams and hundreds of softball players flock to Balbo and Columbus Drive for softball league games in Grant Park on an average weekday summer evening.
In the late 1970s and early 1980s, Grant Park attracted nearly 300 teams with nearly 6,000 players. It was one of the biggest slow pitch softball leagues in the nation.
However, softball activity at Grant Park has declined in recent years as lakefront festivals increased, developments such as Millennium Park expanded, and affordable nearby parking was gradually removed. Interest in softball among the city’s youth also slipped, but it recently was revived as public high schools added 16-inch softball as a team sport, and the game is rising in popularity.
With 16-inch softball likely to be squeezed out of Grant Park and Washington Park to make space for the 2016 Olympics, enthusiasts say now is the time for the city to set aside a few acres and plan a new South Side softball park and Hall of Fame Museum near 31st and Lake Park, where the game was born.
Experts suggest the proposed new softball/museum complex should include at least 12 diamonds designed in three ‘pinwheel style’ clusters with four diamonds each like the Softball City complex in Detroit, or similar to James Park in Evanston.
A central concession stand behind the four home plates would be the hub of each four-diamond cluster, and parking would be provided on the perimeter of the diamonds. ‘The beauty of the pinwheel design is that several games can go on simultaneously in a fairly tight area without players from different contests running into one another,’ said Thorsen.
Here’s one final suggestion. Why not name the softball complex Mike Royko Park, to honor the memory of the city’s greatest newspaper columnist, a Hall of Fame player, and one of softball’s greatest promoters?
*The Home Front, Don DeBat’s weekly real estate column syndicated by DeBat Media Services, unravels the complexities of home buying, mortgage shopping, homeownership, renting, building, renovation and remodeling. For more home-buying information visit his website at: www.dondebat.net.
The Chicago 16″ Softball Hall of Fame announced its eleventh annual list of inductees and honorees today. The list includes some of the best male and female athletes in the sport since the 1920s when the sport began to take-off in Chicago. “The voting gets tougher and tougher each year because the competition is so equal, but these stars of Chicago are another superb class to honor,” stated Gary Thorsen, president of the Hall of Fame.
Co-founder of the Hall of Fame Tony Reibel said, “On average over six hundred people attend the HOF awards events each January at Hawthorne Park Race Track to congratulate the winners and network with their past friends, teammates and competitors.” This year’s dinner event will be held on Saturday, January 20, beginning with cocktails starting at 6:30. The host will be Bob Sirott, a Chicago radio and television personality, avid softball player, and the current inductee in the Media category.
This year’s class of inductees include:
The Pioneer era representatives include such legendary players as pitcher / shortstop, Charles “Missy” Miceli, left-fielder and leadoff hitter, Stanley Stein, pitcher and decorated Korean War veteran, Thomas Curran, a left-fielder with one of the deadliest arms of his day, Anthony Ross who played with some of the great teams of the ’30s and ’40s and Charles Wilson, a World War II veteran and veteran of the softball wars and the Chicago Police Department.
The 1950 – 63 era representatives are Joseph Pusateri, a sure-handed center fielder who played until he was sixty-eight years old and Gerald Witry, a first baseman who played with some of the greatest players of softball early years.
The 1964 – 1979 inductees include first baseman and top leadoff hitter, Jimmy McCardle; second baseman and longtime Chicago Park District softball organizer, Buddy Haines; and Tom O’Malley, who played for five-plus decades and together with two other Hall of Famers formed one of the best outfields of their time. He currently is basketball coach at St. Xavier University in Chicago.
The 1980 – 92 inductees are Mark Frighetto, Hall of Fame board member and premier short center with the Runts, Cooper’s Sporting Goods, Bud North and the Miller 45s. Rich Mahoney, a third and first baseman with some of the surest hands in the game and a master of the “dump” hit. Al Placek played with the Mets, the Playboys and the Bud 45s.
1993 – Current inductees feature Ken Cooper, the long-ball hitting member of Cooper’s Sporting Goods, Splinter’s and Lettuce Entertain You; Bill Finnegan, the shortstop and third baseman for Bud North, Automart and March Manufacturing and Kurt Uidl, power hitter with the Turtles and Bud North.
Umpires: Terry Reilly, the umpire inductee, called balls and strikes for over five thousand games, including officiating at Major League national softball tournaments.
Holan Awards: Sally Gregory worked tirelessly on Chicago’s Southside to give young people a positive direction in life. Bob Pagorek, organized the legendary Eastside and Eastsiders teams.
Women: Dolly Reardon was a top shortstop and hitter on some of the legendary women’s teams during the Golden Age of women’s softball. She is also a member of the Hall of Fame at Quincy College. Lynn Miceli played softball on Chicago’s North Side ands is currently league director of the Grant Park (Chicago) Softball League.
Mayor Richard J. Daley Award: Terry O’Brien, softball player and president of the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago, who helped negotiate the transfer of Thillens Stadium to the Chicago Park District.
Organizer: Joe Sarna, longtime softball player and softball organizer for the Chicago Park District.
Manager: Floyd Glover, manger of the Senators and other great teams from Chicago’s South Side. Ron Schabinger, manager of the Jackmen and a coach in the Chicago Public School system.
Wall of Fame: Rich DelGiudice coached the Hawks, the Flames and Nectar to 1100 wins during his long career.
Teams: The Rebels were one of the most competitive women’s teams during the late ’70s and early ’80s in Chicago. Commonwealth Edison established records for longevity and competitiveness for corporate teams. The Whips are called by many one of the greatest collections of players and major champions in the history of 16″ softball who played in the 80’s.