Softball superstars Tito’s 45’s placed on top in the 51st annual No Glove Nationals Tournament on July 28 for the third year in a row, defeating the Chicago Dynasty team for at least the second year in a row, winning at least two out of three games, 6-5 and 6-5.

“Thank you everyone for your support this weekend and for helping to make the tournament a success,” No Gloves posted on Facebook on July 29. 

Chicago Dynasty came in second in the 46-game tournament and Flashback came in third. The tourney included 24 teams. 

Started in 1969, the tournament began as an “All Star” 16-inch softball tournament, a single-elimination affair, played during Labor Day weekend on the Park District of Forest Park’s only lit field. It was restricted to suburban teams and only 10 teams competed. The heavily-favored Maywood Agents defeated the Cinderella Forest Park All Stars on Sept. 1, 1969, becoming the first champions. 

Popularity certainly increased the second year, when Chicago teams were invited. The competition later evolved into the acclaimed No Gloves Nationals Tournament, with attendance reaching 15,000 for the championship-round games. 

In 2016, the Forest Park Review received the Media Award from the 16-inch Softball Hall of Fame, recognizing the newspaper’s coverage of the tourney throughout its lifetime. 

Nona Tepper