Chicago 16-Inch Softball Hall of Fame honors 2023 inductees at 27th annual dinner

On Oct. 28, the Chicago 16-Inch Softball Hall of Fame recognized the Class of 2023 inductees and honorees at its 27th annual dinner.

The hall of fame includes some of the best male and female athletes in the sport since the 1920s, when softball began to take off in Chicago. This year's event, attended by more than 450 softball enthusiasts, was held at Durey Lane in Oak Brook Terrace, IL.

"The Hall of Fame is the most prestigious honor among the 16-inch softball community," said Paul Rowan president of the Hall of Fame. "We are excited to honor and highlight those who have performed or supported the game at the highest levels."

"The greatest game on dirt continues to grow," said Al Maag, co-founder of the HOF. "More individuals and teams are seeing its beauty. The game is simple - a ball and a bat are all that is required to have fun or be as competitive as you wish."

Maag noted that the HOF induction Class of 2023 is led by one standout player and a legendary woman manager:

• Mark Holstein, who stated playing 16-inch softball with grade-school friends at Bulger Park in 1997, rose to star as a top power hitter for the famed 45's. He is compared with such hall of fame greats as Benny Holt, Ron Olesiak, Jack Kelly and John O'Connor.

Holstein and his teammates have won 10 Forest Park No-Glove championships and 10 Major National Championships. He has won seven MVP awards, countless major tournament and league titles, All-American citations and batting titles.

• Colleen Elliott began playing softball at age 7 in the Clearing neighborhood on the Southwest Side of Chicago. In 1991, she formed the legendary Hangovers women's 16-inch softball team. Elliott played and managed the Hangover team that won more than 450 games and about 40 tournaments.

The team and played at Lawler Park, McKinley Park, Normandy Park, Kennedy Park in Chicago, Commissioners Park in Bridgeview, and Newcastle Park in Burbank. The Hangovers woman's squad was inducted into the HOF as a historic team in 2019.

2023 inductees

• Woman: Cecilia Washington, MVP player for Lady Choice in Franklin Park, Garfield Park and Columbus Park leagues from 1985 to 2010.

• Men 1993 to present era: Mark Holstein (see career highlights above). Also, Marty Dosen, a star hitter with Miller 45's, who won the 2014 batting title in the ASA Nationals, plus five major National Championships, and five Forest Park No-Glove titles.

• Manager - Women's: Colleen Elliott (see career highlights above).

• Manager - Men's: Jim Schumacher, manager of the Aces, a powerhouse team that won 1,250 games in the 1970s and 1980s.

• Wall of Fame: Mike Brady, Eric Cochran, Coty Jackson, Bobby Olsen, Steve Prang, Lenny Stokes, Edward Taylor.

• Historic teams: Breakaways, CJ's Sports Bar, Gamblers, Alpha Giants, Lords, Trojans, Ironmen.

• Veterans committee: Joe Somodi and Dwain Spivey.

• Harrison Park: 50-Year Anniversary, Chicago Park District.

• Frank Holan Award: Mike Consiglio.

• Richard J. Daley Award: Mike Baldwin, Rick Wostratzky.

• Field of Dreams: Bulger Park, Melrose Park, IL, Veterans Park District.

• Lifetime Achievement: 42nd Annual Bernard J. Spatz Dollars Against Diabetes Tournament, run by the Chicago & Cook County Building & Construction Trades Council, Harrison Park.

Since 1996, the Chicago 16-Inch Softball Hall of Fame is the premier organization for supporting and recognizing the game of 16-inch slowpitch softball.

The Chicago 16-Inch Softball Museum at 7501 W. Harrison St. in Forest Park, is a location that was selected to pay homage to the Forest Park No-Gloves National, one of softball's premier tournaments.

The museum is open Saturdays from noon to 4 p.m. Call (708) 366-7500, or visit

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