Richard J. Daley Friend of Softball Award

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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Dr. Hank Golembesky

Hank began his 16-inch Chicago-style softball career in 1977 in California when he and three colleagues (Rich Collins, Oren Cobb and Bob Gouveia) founded the OB Phils Softball Club and joined the Men’s A Division Ocean Beach Chicago Style Softball League. Hank was the primary starting pitcher for the team for over thirty –five years. …

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Ray Czarnik

THE BEGINNING My love for softball started in the early 70’s by going from park to ark with my dad to watch my brother Tom “Eggs” Czarnik play this great game of sixteen-inch softball. I remember my first time watching him play at Clarendon Park and was intrigued by the number of people surrounding the …

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Sal Milazzo

  As a kid, Sal Milazzo remembers watching his dad, Nick Milazzo, play sixteen-inch softball at Saint Bonaventure Elementary School in Chicago. Sal had the opportunity to play softball in the intramural program at Northern Illinois University. After the championship game his senior year, he was asked to pitch for the Willoughby Elrod Raiders at …

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Charles Bidwill

Charles Bidwill’s pioneering spirit, his continued enthusiasm for the game of professional football, and unyielding support place him as one of the guiding lights of the early years of the National Football League. His financial support enabled George Halas to retain ownership of the Chicago Bears in the early days of the Great Depression. He …

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Alderwoman “Ginger” Rugai

      In 1989, Virginia Rugai was diagnosed with breast cancer. In the following months, friends and neighbors provided an incredible network of support for Rugai and her family as she waged a difficult battle with this horrible disease. Like so many other survivors, Ginger had an ongoing desire to continue the fight beyond her personal …

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Howie Fagan

Howie Fagan has had a tremendous impact on the Hall of Fame from its inception. In fact, one could argue that it was his generosity that led to the first public display of softball memorabilia. Italian Sports Hall of Fame director, George Randazzo, suggested that Howie and Al Maag meet. From that first meeting, Howie …

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Cecil Roderick

Cecil and Diane Roderick own Buck’s Pit Stop and M&R Wrecking. Besides being long-term owners of these businesses, they are also long-term supporters of sixteen-inch softball through their sponsorship of hundreds of teams over a twenty-year period. These sponsorships have included police and fire teams, recreational and industrial teams, girls and women’s team, “A” league …

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John Garvin

John Garvin, a life-long sports enthusiast, graduated from St. Ignatius High School in 1948. In 1968 he opened Garv-Inn, a small neighborhood tavern in Berwyn. Even though it measured only a thousand feet in space, it was a huge presence in the softball community because of the teams John sponsored. Since its creation in 1968, …

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Terrence O’Brien

A native of Chicago, Terry O’Brien grew up playing softball for many teams, including the Scorpions and Muskrats from 1972 to 1988 in leagues and tournaments at parks throughout Chicago and the suburbs, including Clarendon, Wells, Mather, and Pottawatomie in Chicago, James in Evanston, Majewski in Mt. Prospect and at Forest Park. As president of …

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