The CTA Softball league was established in 1969, providing entertainment and fellowship for CTA employees, friends and family for generations, and 3rd Rail is an extension of that family. After winning the CTA championship in 2002 with the West Side ‘L’, Drake Jones and Tony Ward decided to form their own softball team, naming it …

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William “Sugar Bear” Robinson started playing 16-inch softball at ten years old after school in a vacant lot between two vacant houses. After a few broken windows, off to the park they went. His passion for softball carried him through high school. Playing chosen teams and paying fifty cents each for clinchers. This passion went …



While serving his country, Tom repeatedly requested that his mother send him a fresh 16-inch clincher softball, because he missed the game so much. When he finally returned from the Korean War in 1953, he went on to play 42 years of softball. In the 50’s, he played for the Knights of Columbus, Comets, Sincere …


Team Rollers

The Chicago Rollers 16-inch softball team team was formed at the end of the 1976 season. It was a team that merged players from Niles, Edison Park and Notre Dame High School. The original team started with the following players – Tom Czarnik, Hugh Carmichael, Ed Murray, Craig Christiansen, Bill Maurer, Tom Jones, Mike Fragale, …

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Bob Russ Jr.

Bobby Russ Jr. started his sixteen-inch softball career in the late 1980s with two Northwest Side neighborhood teams – the Levee and the Jackmen. Both teams had a number of HOF players on their roster. He played baseball and basketball at Weber High School from 1981 to 1985. He received a scholarship to play baseball …

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Rick Rostan

Rick Rostan’s passion for sixteen-inch softball began while watching his brother Steve and friends Bobby Grippo, Roger Ciska, The Donofrio Brothers (Ricky and Joey), Mike Tomasetti, Sal Oliver (HOF) and Charlie” Missy” Miceli (HOF) play at Amundsen Park and Kells Park as the Original Stompers.  He started playing in leagues at thirteen for a grammar …

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In 1987, John Pellegrino organized the Hickory Hills Rebels after growing up watching sixteen – inch softball games at the local park.  The players were friends from the neighborhood looking for a competitive outlet and took their name from a childhood football league. The Rebels built momentum and skill, leading up to their first big …

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Randy Russ

Randy Russ started his sixteen-inch softball career in the late 1980s playing neighborhood ball with the Levee and the Jackmen.  Besides sixteen-inch softball, Randy also excelled at baseball. He played at Lewis University from 1987 – 1990. The team competed in the Division II College World Series from 1988 to 1990. They finished third in …

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Ray Linz Sr., owner of Ray’s Tavern in Calumet City, IL was the proud sponsor of RAY’S Women’s 16″ Softball Team from 1972-1980. The team was formed in 1972 from a recreational group of women’s power volleyball players. Although the members came from various teams, they shared a common bond — a competitive nature. Of …

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Alvin “The Doctor” Robinzine

Alvin “The Doctor” Robinzine (“Doc”) was known for his white cap and unique pitching style which consisted of various fakes used to keep the batters off balance. Some say he threw a high pitch, but what he actually pitched is called the Hump. Doc was named “The Doctor” by his teammates who admired how he …

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Join us October 29, 2022

26th Annual Hall of Fame Inductee Dinner, at the Drury Lane Oakbrook


Full details in the shop link below