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Traffic

  Traffic is a classic neighborhood softball team from the Riis Park area that evolved into a consistent top- fifteen team. They started playing in a Sunday league at Riis Park in 1986. In 2011, they took second in the Westchester Tournament of Champions and finished fifth in the Forest Park No Gloves Nationals in …

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Team The 45’s

The Miller 45s dominated the softball world during their peak years: 2001 to 2009. The foundation for that sustained excellence began in 1988, the birth year of the Bud 45s. The Bud 45’s struggled through their early years in the Mt. Prospect Classic League and Des Plaines Power League, the top talent leagues on the …

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Team Safari Tigers

The Safari Tigers 16-inch softball team was formed in April 1969 by Hall of Fame coach Claude Rhodes. The team was formed to counter the negative influences that prevailed in the Washington Park and Grand Crossing neighborhoods of Chicago. Today, this influence is even more necessary and meaningful. In the early 1970s, the Tigers played …

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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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Mel Thillens

Mel created the Northtown softball field at Devon and Kedzie that everyone could enjoy in 1938. It was due to a suggestion by his brother Ferdy because there were no fields safe to play this popular sport. He added lights (oldest in Chicago) and his diamond became the site of the best men and women …

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Cheryl Teale

When Cheryl was about nine years old, she and her sister Cathy, along with the neighborhood boys started playing baseball in the streets of Oak Lawn using the sewer covers as bases. When the Oak Lawn Park District decided to form a girl’s softball league, Cheryl and her sister Cathy joined and their mother Mary …

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Gary Thorsen

Gary Thorsen’s love for baseball began in back yards and school grounds when he was just eight years old. He moved on to play neighborhood pick-up games and was named a high school All- American. His move to 16-inch softball began in 1970 when he met up with Fritz Zimmerman of March Manufacturing. Besides March, …

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Ray Topps

When he began his softball career in the Grant Park Industrial League, a young Ray Topps experienced a moment few players ever got the change to experience; he played on the same field with his father, Ray Topolski, a fellow Hall of Famer, who retired from softball in 1970. Ray went on to play with …

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Sammy Taylor

With a purported 36” vertical leap, sprinter speed and impressive upper body strength, Sammy Taylor was a triple threat in leagues throughout the Chicagoland 16” softball scene. A right handed hitter who consistently averaged over 700, Taylor could also surprise the opposition with his home run power. He played center field for the legendary Flamingos …

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