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CHICAGO SIXTEEN INCH HALL OF FAME

Over 600 People Attend 7th Annual Banquet


(L-R John O'Conner, Ed Koss, Jack Lyman and Vic Kostecki 1950 -1963 Era Inductees)

Cicero: It was a festive crowd of over six hundred people who came to honor the thirty-two individuals and two teams being inducted at the 7th Annual Chicago 16 Inch Hall Of Fame Induction Banquette held in the Gold Cup Room at Hawthorne Race Course in Cicero on January 18th. A buffet style dinner preceded the induction ceremony as the huge crowd settled in for an evening of memories and adulation of those being honored that night.
The dinners host George Bliss got the evening rolling with his three hesitation pitch before bring on the nights Master Of Ceremony Mike North from WSCR (The Score) Radio. Bliss made note of North's efforts to promote the game of sixteen-inch softball and also his efforts in help forming the Chicago Public League's sixteen-inch softball as varsity sport.
North, during his remakes introducing each new Hall Of Fame member giving a brief capsule history of their softball background before they each spoke.
The first inductees were the Women with North reading off their accomplishments of Dee Hancock before she said in her acceptance speech "Anybody who has played this great game understands what it means to be part of a team."
Margaret Olawoye took the time to give a special thank you to all the people in attendance on a cold and snowy January evening in Chicago.
The Pioneers (players before 1950) Players were next to be inducted. Laddy Bobiak brought the house down with his singing of "I from back of the yard". Michael Hanas simple said thank you to the Chicago Sixteen Inch Hall Of Fame for including him in their club. Walter Meyers was grateful to his family who came from all over the USA to be with him on his special night. Bruno Pinkos told the crowd about the competition that the players from his era faced and of the life long friendship that they forged from playing the game of sixteen-inch softball. Doc Scavuzzo thanked his wife of 57 years for allowing him to play softball. Leonard McKinnon was grateful to his family and friends who were in attendance to help honor him on his induction into the Hall Of Fame.
Next to be inducted were the four players from the 1950 - 1963 Era with Ed Koss going first. Speaking of being inducted into the Hall Of Fame Koss said, "... this has to be one of the highlights of my life." Vic Kostecki " Its a great honor, but the honor comes from the teams that I played with and the teams that I played against because they made the Bobcats what they were." Jack Lyman told those in the audience that looking back on my career, playing softball was a privilege. John O'Connor proudly pointed out that his five sins and three grandchildren were in attendance on this special night.
The Frank C. Holan Award, for outstanding contributions to the game of softball, was presented to Jim Lavato from Jimbo's Tavern next. Lavato took the time to give a special thank you to Mickey Balestri who nominated him for this award.
Continued:

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