The Olympic committee may have dropped softball from the summer games but Forest Park is going all out to promote the female sport. This Saturday Forest Park Little League is honored to host the Illinois State Tournament, pitting teams of 17-18 year olds from Mundelein and Elgin in a battle for the state crown. The winner will later square off against other state champions on their road to the World Series.

District Administrator Joe McMillan picked Forest Park for the best-of-three tournament because of the Park’s beautifully conditioned fields and its convenient location. The first game will be played at 3:00 p.m. and will be followed by a barbecue put on by Little League volunteers. The second game will start on Field 2 at 7:00 p.m. The third game, if necessary, is scheduled for 1:00 p.m. on Sunday.

Little League President Dan O’Connor said that Mayor Calderone and Park District officials will be on hand for the tournament. He also mentioned that the games are scheduled to be broadcast on radio. “These teams have come a long way already,” O’Connor said, “They’ve already won their district and their sectional.” To reach the World Series in Kalamazoo, the weekend winners will next have to make it through the interstate regional competition.

“It’s an honor to host such an important tournament,” O’Connor said, “It’s a testament to our outstanding facilities and strong programs. The fans that come out this weekend will be treated to some high-quality softball.” The Olympic committee may not have its head on straight when it comes to encouraging women’s athletics but Forest Park certainly knows how to showcase a softball tournament.


John Rice is a columnist/novelist who has seen his family thrive in Forest Park. He has published two books set in the village: The Ghost of Cleopatra and The Doll with the Sad Face.