When it comes to Chicago baseball, the current focus is on the
intra-city series between the Cubs and White Sox. Of course, both teams
being under .500 means this year lacks a serious buzz (last night's game
at the Cell set a new low for crosstown classic single game
However, I have a seen a unique Chicago baseball (well, softball
actually) media story emerge. After all, this is the city where the
game was invented (Thanksgiving 1887 at the Farragut Boat Club) and the
sport's biggest star, Jennie Finch played professionally.
And now a new chapter in Chicago softball history.
It plays every Sunday. Here's how it works:
By Paul M. Banks
18 Softballers per team (ages 21-39). Half guys. Half girls. They place you on a team with others your age from your area.
The league is currently in Chicago and New York, with Boston coming
soon. The second city second season starts July 31st. But don't wait,
spots are going very fast. League Founder Ben Shimon articulated his inspiration for starting the league on the S3 website:
We made it through another brutal Chicago winter, and summer is
almost upon us. Sunny, warm weather is just around the corner. It's
time to start figuring out how to be outside as much as possible!
That's where I got the idea for Singles Softball Sundays.
Obviously going to the beach and lying on a blanket in a park is nice,
but what about being active and playing in a social summer sports
league!? S3 Softball is the answer. Your knight in shining armor. Here
to whisk you away on its white horse of fun and meeting singles in this
Those who play have nothing but good things to say.
"When I joined, I really had no idea what to expect, but I've made a
bunch of really great friends through the league - guys and girls," said
league member Tory Vachula.
"There are definitely hookups throughout the summer, and two of my
good friends who met through S3 have been dating for a while now.
Everyone joins S3 alone or with a friend or two, so it's a lot of fun
getting to know all your teammates."
"The whole league is just as much about being social as it is about
playing softball, so it's really easy to strike up conversations at the
bar after the game - everyone is there to meet new people," said
"Even the umpires are entertaining and encourage a little friendly
rivalry out on the field. No one cares too much about how good you are
at softball, so there's no pressure," she continued.
The league was founded in 2009. There are two seasons every year, and
Tim Bussman has played in all five since the league's inception.
"I moved up to the city in the winter of 2009, and I really didn't
know that many people in the city. About 80% of my Chicago friends are
people that I met in this league," said Bussman.
"On a couple of my teams that I was on, we did other events besides
softball. There's been house parties, bar crawls, BBQ's, Cubs/Sox
games, etc. I had a birthday party this past April at a Wrigleyville
bar and a majority of them that came were from S3 Softball," he
There are two leagues: Oz Park and Wrightwood Park. The Wrightwood
league is smaller, and it's post-game bar (Augie's) features a large
outdoor patio with sand volleyball and bags. The postgame bars for Oz
are Kelsey's and Kinkade's,which are larger (as is the league) and
accommodate a party atmosphere.
"People are always joking around and having fun and the interaction is awesome," said Bussman.
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