CHICAGO SIXTEEN INCH HALL OF FAME
Over 600 People Attend 7th Annual
(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
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.
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