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Reservoir Dogz Softball

> Last Update : 07.18.18 @ 00:01:13 <

The Reservoir Dogz are an independent softball club playing their contests within the Chicago Design League at Grant Park, Chicago.


The Dogz were established by Rick and Donna Schroeder along with Tom Erdelac through a merger of Chicago design firms ISD and Berger Associates (for softball purposes only) in 1987... all Dogz games between 1987 and 2000 were played as a part of the squatter's league that was loosely organized on the south end of Lincoln Park by different design firms and a handful of construction companies.


Tucked inside the south-bound LaSalle exit from Lake Shore Drive, the actual softball diamonds on the south end of Lincoln Park were leased by an advertising league, the area where our games took place was the vast expanse of grass beyond their outfields leading out to LaSalle Drive and Stockton Blvd. Teams would always send an intern out to the fields early to squat on a good place to mark off a diamond for their game... I carried that duty for the Dogz from '96 through '98, sometimes I would get some help from Sweet Lou D'Ambrosia, fellow pack mules as we described it.


One design firm who actually leased a diamond back then was Harry Weese Associates, so whoever was playing them any given week got to play on a real diamond... otherwise, it was out in the grass. A couple teams had bases... most games just played with random found objects as bases.

Starting around 1996 though, the original 12 or 14 teams playing there each week started to balloon as word got around and popularity grew. By 1998 it was up to around 30 teams... our squatter's league had started to infringe upon ad league leased space... they called the Park District who began coming out and prohibiting our playing there. It was at this point that Tom Erdelac and Nic Rotondo approached the Park District about leasing some space of our own.


Our first season at Grant Park in 1999 wasn't such a good one. We were given Upper Hutchinson Fields from 5:30 to 6:45 on Monday nights. Within that context we were only able to entice 7 other teams to join us in a league and share the cost of the diamonds. It was an uphill climb of a season and during the winter of '99 we didn't feel as though any of the teams would be willing to give it another go.

But the following Spring brought the welcome news that we could have Upper Hutchinson on Thursday nights from 5:30 to dusk, and as a result, we ended up with 12 paying teams for the 2000 Season and the Chicago Design League was born. Tom bowed out of league organization at that point, Nic carried things on... the rest is history.


Regarding the Dogz, Tommy turned over the reigns to Nic after the '03 Season. The Dogz then won their last Championship in '04 creating a pretty sweet changing of the guard. The 2004 Season was the last full season of Tommy's playing career. Nic is still active.

Over the years the Reservoir Dogz have evolved from a team stocked with design world players, to a refuge for nomads harboring a softball jonez. These days we have a freelance artist, a couple of traders, an elementary school teacher, three high school teachers and still the handful of designers and engineers... all firing off one competitive season after another in beautiful Grant Park.

With the 2018 Season, the Reservoir Dogz engage upon their 32nd campaign with the ongoing results documented here on the DogzWeb throughout the Summer.

< Established on the Web : April 1st, 2000 >