Richard J. Daley Friend of Softball Award

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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Jim Taylor

When Jim Taylor, Len Smith and Terry Bell formed Hometown Distributing in 1983, they immediately threw their support behind 16″ softball on the South Side of Chicago, supporting many teams at Washington, Kelly, Grant, and Forest Parks.  In the mid 1980s, the Touch and Jim realized their dream when Touch won the National Championship in …

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Joseph Rizza

Unlike a lot of bar sponsors, Joe Rizza never sponsored a team expecting them to “pay him back” after the game. This attitude certainly produced a lot of happy wives whose husbands didn�t feel an obligation to stay out late after the game. All Joe Rizza asked was that a player or fan who was …

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Robert Emmett “Butch” McGuire

Unlike any other “Friend of Softball” winner before him, Butch McGuire actually was a friendly acquaintance of Richard J Daley. One of his customers described the social and gregarious McGuire in a 1986 Tribune magazine profile saying, “Butch is 30% businessman and 70% humanitarian.” Back in 1962, McGuire’s prototypical singles bar-considered to be the first …

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Patrick O’Connor

Growing up in Chicago, Patrick O’Connor learned the game of 16″ softball in the schoolyards and parks of the city. He played in many Chicago Park District tournaments with a number of different teams during his school years. Since 1983, Alderman O’Connor has hosted his annual softball tournament to help keep alive the rich tradition …

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JP “Pat” Malone

     Lots of bars sponsor softball teams, but not many have supported as many as J.P. “Pat” Malone of McGaffer’s Saloon in Forest Park. Over 35 years, Malone has spread it around generously to teams competitive and not so competitive. In that time, Pat has become as much a part of the Forest Park softball …

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Sy Warchol

One of 16” softballs most devoted fans; Sy Warchol was born in 1929 in Chicago’s Pilsen neighborhood. He attended St. Adalbert Grammar School and Harrison High School. He played softball at Cooper School and Harrison Park until he left to serve with the 25th Infantry Division in Korea. Warchol quit playing softball in 1969 to …

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Phil Sutera

Born into a family of six on December 18, 1923, Phil Sutera attended Mark Twain Grammar School and Thomas Kelly High School at 42nd and California. Phil Sutera’s softball career began early at the age of sixteen when he played 14″ ball against Ted Klusinki, a future White Sox player. In 1942 he played softball …

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Walter “Doc” Papierz

Doc Papierz was born on November 14, 1917 in Chicago’s Back of the Yards neighborhood on 43rd Street across from Davis Square. One of ten children, Doc attended Sacred Heart Grammar School and Tilden Branch High School. At that time he started working for the Wilson Stock Yards, a job that lasted from 1941 to …

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Peter “Uncle Pete” Crnjak

Perched on the bleachers with his trademark cigar clenched between his teeth, “Uncle Pete” Crnjak mumbles tips and advice to the players from The Men from Uncle, the 1988 16 inch National Class A Champions who selected their team name to honor him. Pete Crnjak developed his love of softball as a young man. After …

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