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Team Whips

Little did Jimmy Lang Sr. know that the team he formed in 1976 would go on to win seven ASA National Championships, five USSSA World Championships and four Forest Park No Glove Nationals and would lay claim to being one of the best teams in softball history. In 1976 they started playing in leagues throughout …

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Phillip S. Williams, Jr.

Phillip Williams, Jr. was born and raised on the South side of Chicago. His father (and namesake) played softball at Ogden Park in the 1940s, so Phillip spent a lot of time as a seven and eight year old watching his dad play. He started playing softball on the street corners of his Englewood residence …

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Austin “Spider” Ware

A lifelong softball player, Austin “Spider” Ware began playing with Hall of Fame inductee Billy “Bumstead” Johnson in 1961 at Parkman Elementary School.  He co-founded and played second base with his first team, the Invaders, in 1963. They dominated play until 1967 when they merged with the Van Dykes, managed by the great Floyd Neal. …

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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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Rich Wagner

Rich Wagner played 16-inch softball with Sim’s Bowl during the 1970s. Unfortunately, he suffered a serious knee injury while playing that forced him to switch to managing softball instead of playing it. He managed the Turtles from 1982 to 1990 before rejoining them for the ’92 through the ’95 seasons. During his time with the …

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Tim Weigel

Were it not for last year’s Media inductee, columnist Mike Royko, this year’s inductee Tim Weigel, may never have played 16″ softball. It was Royko, who in 1971 upon hearing that the Lake Forest native had been a starting halfback for Yale’s football team, drafted him onto the Chicago Daily News 16″ softball team. An …

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Mary “Walzee” Walz

The youngest of five children, born to Jim and Louise Walz, Mary was raised in the south side neighborhood of Bridgeport. Having two older brothers, Mary was exposed to the game of softball at a very early age; and since her family lived across the street from Healy School, the schoolyard became Mary’s baseball field. …

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Popati A. Wing

Popati Wing, who is best known as “T”, started playing softball at the Robert Taylor Homes on Chicago’ Southside when she was nine years old. Even though she had no formal training or coaching, she did have the one thing that great athletes possess ‘ talent. She played third base as the only girl to …

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Mary Ann “Stretch” Walter

As a young girl from 61st and Rockwell who played her first softball game as an eight year old, Mary Ann Walter became one of the of the top first sackers in the women’s leagues and was an original player on the women’s team with the most championships – Rose & Crown. With her trademark …

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Mark Wilson

Mark Wilson’s softball career began when he was fourteen and started playing in the Friday night high school league at Peak’s Park in Worth, Illinois. From that early beginning, he would go on to play with some of softball’s great teams (Barrel of Fun, Francanello’s, Whips, Bud Runners, Renegades, Bats, Hollywood Casino, Men from Uncle, …

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