[an error occurred while processing this directive]
Softball News
Feature Writer
Tournament Results
Illinois Leagues
State and National Websites
I.S.R. Information
I.S.R. Advertisers
Illinois Softball Teams
 
 
[an error occurred while processing this directive]

[an error occurred while processing this directive]

[an error occurred while processing this directive]

[an error occurred while processing this directive]

[an error occurred while processing this directive]

[an error occurred while processing this directive]

Want to Advertise?

 

12th Annual Chicago Sixteen-Inch Hall of Fame
At Hawthorn Race Course In Cicero On January 26th

Chicago Sixteen-Inch Hall of Fame Class of 2008 - Photo by David Hagen

By Bill Wadington & Irv Porter

CICERO: The twelfth Annual Chicago Sixteen Inch Hall of Fame induction dinner was held at the Gold Cup Room at Hawthorne Race Course in Cicero on January 26th, 2006. More than five hundred people had bought tickets to the dinner with a walk up crowd of an additional two hundred plus people bringing the evening attendance to nearly eight hundred people.
After dinner the crowd settled in for the evenings festivities as the Master of Ceremonies Mr. George Bliss set a lively pace keeping the evenings festivities moving as twenty three individuals and three teams entered into the hallowed halls of the sport that they all love so dearly.
Bliss opened the program by recognizing Chicago's Lane Tech High School for winning the 2007 Chicago Public League Sixteen Inch city championship. Member of the Lane Tech ball club filled the stage with their coach Brent Bradish accepting a plaque from the Hall of Fame and saying, "Hopefully these guys will continue playing sixteen inch softball keeping the game alive in the city of Chicago."
The Pioneers were inducted first starting with Floyd Berrien. Berrien grew up at 31st and Calumet. He attended Douglas Grammar School and Wendell Phillips High School, class of 1944.
Berrien started playing softball in 1942 with two teams: the Pepsi Cola Aces at 33rd and Wentworth and at 62nd and Calumet and with the Gaylord's at Madden Park. He also played with the Vicks and the Van Dykes. He was a catcher who hit in the sixth spot in the lineup. He also played left field.
In 1957 he managed and coached youth softball teams before he started umpiring in 1960 for most teams on Chicago's South and West sides. He retired in 1992.
While accepting his place in the Hall of Fame Berrien said, "This is something that I never thought that I would see." He added, "When we started to play softball we were on sandlots there was no grass. This is a pleasure. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!"
Next on the agendas was Roy Kindt the founder of the Lyons 45's. In nominating Roy Kindt to the Hall of Fame, fellow Hall of Famer, Bob LaMont, describes Roy as someone who was never in the limelight but was someone who had a profound effect on the popularity of 16-inch softball. As one of softball's great managers, he played with some of Chicago's great athletes during the pre-World War II days, earned three battle stars fighting in the Pacific during World War II, and then managed a Hall of Fame team during the 1970s.
In his acceptance speech Kindt said, "It is a great pleasure to be here tonight. I will cherish this the rest of my life."
Gene 'Moz' Mozdzierz started playing competitive softball at Thillen's Stadium with the Chi-Orioles club and the Northtown Vaults when he was just fifteen. In 1945 they took second place at Thillen's and in 1946 the Chi-Orioles won the Harold-American title when they defeated the Southside Cardinals.
He then went on to play against such legendary teams as Midland Motors, Kool Vent Awnings, Monica Orioles, Ma's Tavern, Wrightwood Park and Martin Jewelers. He played periodically with teams sponsored by Congressman Dan Rostenkowski. The Chi-Orioles and the Rostenkowski teams captured twenty-five plus league titles. During his forty-four year playing career, teams he played on won 833 games against only 168 losses.
He played shortstop for forty-four seasons (from 1945 to 1988) and was known for his speed and outstanding defensive skills. He batted leadoff for most of his teams for most of his career.
Mozdzierz told those in attendance, "Thanks to all the fine people who came to the dinner and who will enjoy tonight's festivities. Good health, good luck and God bless you. Thank you!"
Kim Panozzo's primary team was the Bidayo's, but she also played with Irish Express and Seldomly Sober. She played five nights a week in Oak Lawn, Blue Island, Worth, Alsip and at Ridge and Kennedy Parks.
From the late 1990s to the early years of 2000, the Bidayo's won the Grant Park Tournament nine of ten years. They also won many ASA and USSSA tournaments during that time period.
As a third baseman for the Bidayo's, Kim was best known for her defense, winning all-tournament team awards from the '80s to the '90s. But she could also hit the ball and drive in runs. During one Metro Tournament at Hart Park in Blue Island, she went thirteen for fourteen for the tournament.
She was named team MVP of the Bidayo's in 1992 and 1995, but she especially remembers the 1992 award because her parents, who rarely missed any of her games, were there to see her receive the award. Her father, who was also her first coach, passed away shortly after she received the award.
Besides softball, she also excelled at women's football. In 2002 she was inducted into the Women's National Football Hall of Fame. As a member of the Orphan's, she was selected to two offensive All-American teams and was selected ten times as a First Team All-American Defensive player.
Panozzo said, "Its an absolute honor to be the one standing up here tonight. Just one more great memory that softball has given to me."

(L / R) Hall of Fame inductee's Floyd Berrien & Roy Kindt

Hall of Fame inductee Gene 'Moz' Mozdzierz

Continued


 

[an error occurred while processing this directive]



Copyright © 2001 Illinois Softball Report. All Rights Reserved.