Chicago 16'' Softball Hall of Fame Induction Dinner to be Held Saturday, Jan. 26

Thu Jan 17, 2008 12:41pm EST

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CHICAGO--(Business Wire)--The Chicago 16" Softball Hall of Fame announced its 12th annual
list of inductees and honorees today. The list includes some of the
best male and female athletes in the sport since the 1920s, when the
sport began to take off in Chicago.

   This year's dinner event will be held at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Jan.
26 at the Hawthorne Park Race Track in Cicero, Ill. "The voting gets
tougher and tougher each year because the competition is so equal, but
these stars of Chicago are another superb class to honor," stated Gary
Thorsen, president of the Hall of Fame.

   Co-founder of the Hall of Fame Al Maag said, "Over 600 people are
expected to attend the HOF awards event again at Hawthorne Park Race
Track. It is always a wonderful night to congratulate the winners and
network with past friends, teammates and competitors. In my opinion,
one of the best managers in history who led the 45's, one of the best
teams in today's era, Bob Racsia will be honored. We will also honor
Frank Mustari, possibly the best shortstop ever."

   Besides these men, this year's class of inductees include:

   The Pioneer era representatives include such legendary players as
catcher, umpire, and manager, Floyd Berrien; Gene Mozdzierz, a
shortstop who played on Chicago's Northwest side; and Roy Kindt, the
organizer of the legendary Lyon's 45's.

   The 1950-63 era representative is Gil Muratori, a six-time MVP who
played with Kenneth Allen and the Chicago Daily News/Sun Times team.
He also provided televised color commentary with Tim Weigel, Greg
Gumbel, and Mike Royko at the Windy City championships.

   The 1964-79 era will honor inductees Paul Gunther, who played with
the legendary Sobies/American Rivet teams; Jim Mikuta, who played with
the Bobcats, the Sobies, and Rush Street powerhouse, Butch McGuires;
Dennis Wallace, the great left-handed hitter with the Senators and the
Flamingoes; and John Ben Rossi, long-time player with Beetle Bomb and
the Loafers.

   The new 1980-92 inductees are Clayton Jones, the sure-handed
shortstop of the Safari Tigers; Jim Kraus, an MVP player with the
Whips; and Mark Wilson, the 7-time All-American with the Whips and Men
from Uncle.

   1993-Current inductees feature Jerry Rhea, the
outfielder/infielder with the 45's, March Manufacturing, and Red Dog;
Pat Heraty, who helped the 45's win many of their national titles; and
Frank Mustari, perhaps the greatest shortstop of the game.

   Umpires: Jim Ancanfora, the umpire inductee, has officiated at 11
national tournaments, 19 state tournaments, and seven Forest Park
Tournaments. Paul Frerking played with the Bobcats, Whips, and
Sportstation before beginning a 20-year officiating career.

   Holan Award: Jayne Zolna, the long-time friend of softball, will
receive this award for her efforts at improving this great game.

   Women: Kim Panozzo, the legendary third baseman for the Bidayo's;
and Pat Pasko, the coach and player for the Slo-Pokes, will be honored
in the Women's category.

   Mayor Richard J. Daley Award: John Garvin, long-time supporter of
softball teams and founder of Garv-Inn, will receive the Daley Award.
Unfortunately, John passed away in 1990, so he will he honored

   Organizer: George Schaaf will be honored for his 35-year career of
playing for and organizing teams around the southwest suburbs of
Chicago. He also built the Windy City Stadium in Bridgeview.

   Manager: Bob Racsia, one of the best managers in history who led
the 45's, one of the best teams in today's era and current national
champions, will be honored.

   Wall of Fame: John Barrett will be honored for his 36-year record
of playing for and coaching the Aces, a Northwest-side team.

   Teams: The Slo-Pokes were one of the most competitive women's
teams during the late '70s in Chicago. The Rizza Rockers played in
numerous "A" and Major Nationals, and captured tournament titles
during the '80s and '90s. The Daily News/Sun Times team, co-founded by
Pulitzer Prize winning author Mike Royko, has battled on Chicago's
softball diamonds for the past 30 years.

   The Chicago 16" Softball Hall of Fame is the premier organization
for supporting and recognizing the game of 16" softball since 1996.

   Tickets are $55 and are available by calling 630-232-7996. Tickets
can also be bought at the door, however, advance reservations are

For Chicago 16" Softball Hall of Fame
DeBat Media
Don DeBat, 312-944-1177
Al Maag, 602-363-6038
Bill Wadington, 630-852-8817

Copyright Business Wire 2008