Chicago Sixteen Inch Hall of Fame
preparing to turn the first shovel at the Chicago 16" Hall of Fame
Park: The Chicago Sixteen Inch Hall of Fame held a ground breaking ceremony
for its outdoor park and exhibit on Saturday April 4, 2009 at the intersection
of Harrison Street & Des Plaines Avenue in Forest Park, George Bliss serviced
as the Master of Ceremonies for the occasion.
opened the proceedings by welcoming the more than one hundred people who gathered
to witness this historic moment in Chicago Sixteen Inch softball history. Bliss
than introduced all the dignitaries from the Village of Forest Park, the Forest
Park, Parks and Recreation Departments Executive Board, the architects that
will be building this phase of the Chicago Sixteen Inch hall of Fame and the Chicago
Sixteen Inch Hall of Fame Executive Committee.
to speak was Chicago Sixteen Inch Hall of Fame President Gary Thorsen who said,
This has been a long, long time coming and I really cant believe that
it is happening. Thorsen went on to say, If it wasnt for the founders,
Al Maag, Tony Reibel we really wouldnt be here today.
closed by bring Ray Topps to the podium. Topps a contractor by trade explained
the design to the gathering with the help of an architectural drawing. Topps close
by saying, Id like to thank everybody
this is a dream come true
for everybody that has ever played this game. It is something that will never
go away and we look forward to not only finishing this but to starting on the
Thorsen acknowledged Fritz
Zimmerman who generous donation has changes the planned phase one from a dream
of the Chicago Sixteen Inch Hall of Fame concept into a reality.
Calderone was introduce by Bliss next and in his remarks he said, The Village
of Forest Park is grateful to the park district for many years ago having the
vision to open the parks here to the No Glove softball here. It has
truly turned out to be I think the gem of our village. As a village were honored
to ultimately be home to the Softball Hall of Fame and that has happened
because we have such a great, great park district.
introduced the Forest Park, Park District President, Bud Boy who said, I
have spent four years watch the best of sixteen inch softball from my vantage
point from across the street. To have players teams and umpires honored at the
site where they played their best is a great thing for our village and our park
Bliss introduced Art Lurie next and
Lurie who presented a plaque to Larry Piekarz the Forest Park, Park District Executive
Director on behalf of the Chicago Sixteen Inch Hall of Fame to honor the Forest
Park, Park District and give the appreciation of everyone of the Board of Directors
of the Hall of Fame.
The mornings program closed
with the official ground breaking by Forest Park officials and the Executive Board
of the Hall of Fame. Afterward all Hall of Fame inductees that were present
also took a turn at helping with the ground breaking of their hall of fame.
Photo's in the Illinois Softball Report's Photo Album
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