Voting For 2015 Inductees is Now
Open till December 2nd
We are very excited to announce our ballot for the 2015 inductees, consisting of some great and worthy players. Voting is now open. Only one ballot is allowed per person, if you vote twice your second ballot will be null. To cast your vote,  click here:  or visit:
The 20th Annual Inductee Dinner will take place Saturday April 16th 2016 at:
Drury Lane Oakbrook
100 Drury Lane
Oakbrook Terrace, IL 60181
Phone:  630-530-8300

Holiday Brick Sale! 

The Hall of Fame is offering discounted bricks until November 8, 2015. Hundred twenty five dollars off the large bricks and seventy-five dollars off the small bricks; you can purchase donor bricks online by clicking  here . 

Our bricks make great holiday gifts and special memories! Also available for purchase are Hall of Fame 
grand opening  books. 

The book feature pictures ,highlights, and information about the grand opening. Books are six dollars each, paid in check to Rachell Entler. Please send checks to 7501 W. Harrison St. Forest Park, IL 60130.
Grand Opening Books Also Available for Purchase!

Available for purchase are Hall of Fame Grand Opening   books.   The book feature pictures, highlights, and information about the Grand Opening. Books are six dollars each, paid in check to Rachell Entler. Please send checks to 7501 W. Harrison St. Forest Park, IL 60130.

Ray Topolski passed at the age of 82.

Ray began his softball career in the "Back of the Yards" at Sherman Park with his friends the Chi-Wolves. Played for Daly Hamburgs after returning from college. He flourished as a centerfielder with the Jimmy Rose team at Clarendon and Chicago and Kedzie Leagues until '59. 
One of his highlights was a 4 home run performance in an All-star game at Thillens. Then he joined the champion Bobcats and played CF until 1964 when the 6 children demanded more time and his wife Theresa was glad to get it. He was an excellent fielder and clutch hitter with a unique hitting style that created good power. He finished his illustrious 20 years helping his employer, Reliable Packing, win 2 Industrial Championships in the late 60s. He was a 3 sport letterman at Leo High School in football, track, and basketball. As a senior, he was honored as the Athlete for 4 Years by Cardinal Stritch! Played baseball and batted .330 and averaged 20 points per game in basketball for Lewis College. He was also a Chicago Catholic League Hall of Fame inductee. Proud member of International Local 134. He was an early inductee in the HOF in 1996. His son Ray Topps followed in his footsteps being inducted in 2001.
We send our condolences to his wife Theresa, Ray and entire family. 
Walter Payton Takes City High School Crown

For the Walter Payton High School Boys 16-inch softball team, the culmination of their season came on October 10th.  Leading 11-9 at the top of the seventh inning against Chicago Agricultural Science in the 2015 Chicago Public Schools City Semifinals at Brooks College Prep, they were three outs away from advancing to the City Championship for the first time in three years. There had already been a surprising amount of twists and turns in the game between the North Side and South Side schools, most notably an eight-run third inning for Payton countered by a six-run
 fourth for Ag Sci. But now the end was near, and the Payton players could feel it. As Leo Pellegrini, the senior pitcher, lobbed the ball into the air, the fielders readied...and it was a simple ground ball to the always reliable third baseman, senior Nate Sutka. They breathed a sigh of relief. One out. But the next hitter was dangerous. He had already hit one over the fence that day, but this time all he could manage was a simple fly ball to right, handled easily by junior Matt Sheppard. The team was one out away, but immediately the next hitter lined a single to left-center. It wasn't over yet. The menacing third hitter stepped to the plate as the tying run. On the very first pitch, he launched a deep drive to left-center.  Sam Algas, the junior center fielder, went back and back, and just as it appeared that the ball was disappearing over the wall, he jumped impossibly high to make the catch. Payton was going to the City Championship.
            Out of 32 teams, it had all come down to Payton and the winner of the other semifinal game, Solorio.  Solorio was undefeated going into the finals, and Payton carried a 19-3 record.  Solorio had never won the city championship in 16-inch softball, and Payton had done it only twice: in 2004 and 2012. The game started slowly, but after two scoreless innings, the Payton bats finally awoke. Led by the senior short-center fielder and cleanup hitter Michael May, who smashed a two-run homer, Payton put up ten runs in the next three innings, and now needed only to retire the side in the bottom of the fifth without allowing a run to keep the slaughter rule intact. After a fly out to sophomore left fielder Emilio Rodriguez and a groundout to junior second baseman Noah Coffman, Payton was one out away from their third City Championship. But Pellegrini, normally reliable, walked the next two batters and worked the third to a full count. The next pitch, high and tight, forced the batter to hit a weak ground ball to junior shortstop Kevin Fitzpatrick. He threw it across to junior first baseman Tristan Rinholm, who, after a slight bobble, secured it to win the game, and the 16-inch Boys Softball City Championship, for Walter Payton College Prep.  The team was coached by Valerie Gemskie, daughter of 2002 Hall of Fame Inductee Jim Gemskie, and former Payton Center Fielder, Scott Potter '09.  This team proved they had more than just talent; they knew they could secure a win because they have an unmatched love for the greatest sport in the city and play the game with heart.   

Help Keep 16-Inch Softball Alive---Donate to the Hall of Fame

There are many ways to donate to the Hall of Fame, see below and learn How to Donate.

Become a Sponsor:  By being a sponsor you have the opportunity to support your fellow Hall of Famers. All of our sponsors are advertised on our website and at our events. You have the opportunity for sponsorship at our next event, the 5th Annual Hall of Fame Golf Outing. To become a golf sponsor, Click Here. To become a sponsor of the Hall of Fame  Click Here.

Opportunities for Sponsor RecognitionOpportunities start at $5,000 and will offer you and/or your company recognition in three-year time spans.
  • Naming rights
  • Prominent display of your name/company logo within the museum and on the web site
  • Honorable mentions/recognition in program materials and newsletter
  • Plus more
To donate for an opportunity to be recognized by all of the above, Click Here.

Be Seen on a Brick : With your purchase of a Hall of Fame brick, you not only donate to the Hall of Fame but can have your name immortalized on your own brick outside of our 16-inch Hall of Fame  building . To purchase a brick,   Click Here.

Do you have a great story or photos you would like to share send them to for a chance to be featured in our next newsletter.

Hall Of Fame Museum Fall Schedule

Open Saturday 12:00 to 4:00 Only
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The Chicago 16-Inch Softball Hall of Fame

Rachell Entler
7501 W. Harrison St.
Forest Park, IL 60130
Office 708-366-7500  x 17