Softball players from across the Midwest will be converging once again at Forest Park’s fields on Harrison Street for four days of old-school play in a national 16-inch tournament.
For the 42nd summer, the Forest Park Invitational No Glove Tournament will begin next week, and there’s no question a new team will claim the title this season.
With the powerhouse Miller 45s – winner of seven of the last nine tourney titles, including last season’s championship – now disbanded, every club in the field of 24 teams has a shot at taking the crown.
Windy City, Flash, Jinx and a slew of other top-notch teams from around the area will take to the three park district fields on Harrison between Circle and Des Plaines avenues.
Games will begin Wednesday evening, July 28, and start up again on Friday evening. On Saturday and Sunday, games will start at 8 a.m. and play will continue until after dark, when competition will be under the lights. There’s no charge to attend any part of the tournament.
Along with the competitive softball, as always there will be plenty of food and beverages for fans. Last summer’s tourney drew more than 10,000 people.
To get everyone in the spirit of the week, there will be a special game this Sunday, July 25, between former local stars of the sport. That game, which will feature the North vs. South teams, will kick off at 1 p.m., right after the Chicago 16-inch Softball Hall of Fame hosts an induction ceremony at noon. The hall of fame is in the building at the corner of Des Plaines and Harrison.
For more of an in-depth look at some of the teams in the tournament and those who work behind the scenes to set up this historical event, see our special section in next week’s Forest Park Review.