KTown Softball Banter: The Managers!!

Thanks to Hall of Famer Danny Love for the inspiration


No Best of list here…just dudes I am familiar with..and again, I’ll do my best on the name spelling

Paul “Puddles” Vagnoni  Probably much more of a softball ambassador than a former manager but he was indeed a former manager so he is on the list.  The 400 Club was a family…embracing a rag-tag persona and bringing a pretty good softball game.  The thing I distinctly remember was the Red DiCello name in the book actually being done in the color red.  Outstanding!  Paul was a fixture then, and he now is an even greater and smaller fixture of his former self.

Rock Evenson  Ran the show for The 5th…that’s right The 5th Amendment for a pretty long stretch.  That morphed into The Big Green Nickle, Shenanigans, Shenanigans Greys, Red Miller and his championship squad of MGD.  Not a bad player when pressed into duty, his patented “Tommarock” swing netted more than a few decent hits.  Just an all-around good dude and a good guy to have as a manager/sponsor.  We all had some amazing times at the 5th after a league game.

Buck Georno  I mean when you are the manager of the best team around…when they are arguably at their very best…you have some responsibility.  And toss in navigating a softball personality like Rocky T and the rest of that group and you can call that about as big of a manger’s role as one could have.  The man took few prisoners as an opposing manager, he was hard on every official and I’m sure he navigated some line-up decisions no one would want to make.  Respect to a great.

Ken Zigner  The Old Sytle group had a fantastic run and Zig was holding court the majority of the time.  Kind of a patchwork Tremper All-Star team, Zig had Old Style playing well for a number of year.  Hell, they even brought in the baseball coach…Gary Stick…and his grown ass made that group even better.  Here was another classic example of a team that maybe wasn’t a favorite to win the Rotary but what would life have been without Zig and Old Style?

Arch Griffin  Well, and then there is this dude.  The man who loves to be “that guy” and most definitely is.  Aside from the theatrics of his personality, Arch was a very important actor in the Golden Age of Kenosha.  You can go back to fricken Tom’s Home Improvement with those jerseys with the collar to Sunnyside with Butch and Meaty and Blade…winning pretty much every step of the way.  And winning loud..and this softball town deserves a great “that guy”…and he was.

Dr Fred Tenuta  Multiple teams called Dr. Fred their own. I know in my time with the man, close to a decade, I can tell you NO ONE was a tougher official scorer that Dr. Fred.  If you hit .500, trust me you actually hit .500 and you may have hit .530.  My favorite Dr. Fred quote…”Let’s do it like it starts in the bible…In The Big Inning”.  And of course, I was the guy that had to construct a line-up with Dr. Fred and heaven help you if you walked up and interrupted the line-up conversation.

Tom Higgins  I spent quite a bit of time under the management of Tom Higgins.  Now that was one funny dude..just a razor sharp wit.  I was no longer a part of the team when he got some hardware with the Washington Park Tavern group but I sure was happy for him.  Man, when I was just a kid with him and Warosh and McQuestion, Jimmy Tirabassi. My brother Pete, Kevin Loef..man we had some good times at Hawks Bowl and Hooker Lake Inn.

Jerry Schultz  The Coors Light bunch was together and winning for a long time.  Schultzie, book in hand, ran with many of the same guys the whole run.  Definitely a poster boy for that bowling/softball crossover group with Glen Marescalco, Chizzle and that collection of guys.  He seemed to have a never ending supply of guys…when Neiman wasn’t around, Billy was or you got one Cibrario..sometimes you even got two.  This was always a game with plenty of chatter.

Andy Mogensen  Andy ran the Bill’s Corner Club team for 20 plus years and always had them pretty competitive.  Andy was and is a true baseball fan.  From playing at Newman Park, to playing together in Pony League, to several years together at Bill’s, I’ve probably played more seasons with Andy than anyone.  He is absolutely committed to winning, he tried to keep everyone happy and even if he was a better option, he’d let the other guy play.  A rare dude indeed.

The floor is now open for the countless other greats deserving mention…