Joseph Kurczodyna of Lake Forest, a pitcher in the Men's 12-inch Softball League in Lake County has worn the same rebel leather baseball cap while pitching for 33 summer & fall seasons. "I have pitched over 3500 games wearing the cap I purchased in 1980s in Silverton, Colorado while camping.
The Lake Forest CEO has played in numerous park districts leagues wearing the deeply worn leather cap in 15 different states. The cap has seen ten championships in the last 18-years in Lake Forest. The Lantern, Kurczodyna team sponsored by Beth Tiffany owner of The Lantern of Lake Forest just finished the summer season on Thursday night, August 15, 2013 with a loss to Tilted Kilt at Deerpath Recreation Center.
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The team finished third ending its reign of three championship seasons. "We lost two close games by one run, in a double-elimination tournament" said Kurczodyna who is also the team's manager. "Skoo Walker and Jeff Keske hit over 800 and played solid infield throughout the playoffs", he said.
The 60-year-old CEO and founder of Patriot Mortgage Acceptance Corporation in Lake Forest said he will pitch the fall season with the Lantern wearing the cap. Kurczodyna wearing his rebel leather cap has faced over 140,000 batters, thrown over 500,000 pitches and won 70% of his games in 33 consecutive years.
Kurczodyna said he will be wearing his cap all day when his startup company launches in September.
"I've been wearing the same cap each season because, like most ball players I'm superstitious", said Kurczodyna, who has played in 20 park districts throughout Lake and Cook County and in Colorado including Denver and Ft. Collins. "I am often approached by players and umpires telling me where and when they faced me wearing the rebel cap before", said Kurczodyna. Kurczodyna also pitches for his team "Silver Clout" in the 50 and 60-year-old division of Senior Softball Association USA league, which is sponsored by the Lake Forest startup, Patriot Mortgage Acceptance Corporation, he founded.
The seasoned CEO and founder of PMAC said his companies have been sponsoring men's league softball for over 30 years because of his love for the game. "My most memorable game wearing the cap was winning a Silver Medal in the 2009 Illinois Senior Olympics in Springfield. I was invited to play on a team from Barrington that had lost their pitcher to a last minute injury. It is always uncomfortable to pitch for a team that doesn't know you especially wearing the rebel cap. I pitched seven games and took them to the finals where we lost by one run in 3 extra innings", said Kurczodyna.
Kurczodyna loves competing in amateur sports he played semi pro football well into his forties and at fifty was a finisher in the Madison Wisconsin Ironman in 2003. Kurczodyna became a certified Yoga and Tai Chi instructor in 2012. He teaches free a class at Independence Grove Forest Preserve in Libertyville on Mondays from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. He is also a certified indoor cycle or spin instructor at Sky Fitness in Buffalo Grove. Kurczodyna is currently substituting Yoga and Tai Chi classes throughout the north shore and suburbs. "I welcome anyone that would like to attend at the Grove" said the CEO amateur athlete.