2018 Pitch & Hit Club 72nd Annual Awards Banquet

2018 Pitch & Hit Club 72nd Annual Awards Banquet

This years 2018 Pitch and Hit Club 72nd Awards Banquet was held at the Tinley Park Convention Center on Sunday Jan 21, 2018. We experienced a full capacity crowd with nearly 400 attendees highlighted by the award winner presentations, the autograph tables, and a nice assortment of memorabilia for our guests. We want to thank all that came out to share the great night at the 72nd Annual Banquet.

  • Lou Boudreau Hall of Fame: Don Cooper, Chicago White Sox Pitching Coach
  • Scout of the Year Award: Stan Zelinski
  • Bo Jackson Courage Award: Evan Knoblauch-Rhodes Garland
  • Mary Frances Veeck Woman of the Year Award: Angela Christino
  • Len Diforte Amateur Service Award: Max Reising
  • Minor League Player: Ryan Borucki
  • Chicago Rookie of the Year: Nick Delmonico - Chicago White Sox
  • Ron Santo Inspiration Award: Tony Esposito
  • Charlie Hum Service Award: Rich Budziak
  • Organization of the Year: Schaumburg Boomers
  • College Coach of the Year: Todd Post, Kankakee Community College
  • Amateur Team of the Year: Chicago Policemen & Chicago Firemen Team
  • Youth Team of the Year: St. Paul Apostle School

Congratulations to all the Pitch & Hit Club Award Winners. Click on pictures to enlarge.

Don Cooper
Don Cooper
Chicago White Sox Pitching Coach
Lou Boudreau Hall of Fame

Stan Zelinski, Scout of the Year Award
Stan Zelinski
Scout of the Year Presented by Larry Monroe to the Stan Zelinski Family

Evan Knoblauch and Rhodes Garland, Bo Jackson Courage Award
Evan Knoblauch & Rhodes Garland
Bo Jackson Courage Award


Angela Christino, Mary Francis Veeck Award
Angela Christino
Mary Francis Veeck Woman of the Year Award

Max Reising, Len Diforte Amateur Service Award
Max Reising
Len Diforte Amateur Service Award

Ryan Borucki, Minor League Player of the Year
Ryan Borucki
Minor Leauge Player of the Year


Nick Delmonico, Chicago White Sox 
Chicago Rookie of the Year
Nick Delmonico, Chicago White Sox
Chicago Rookie of the Year

Tony Espisoto Ron Santo Inspiration Award
Tony Espisoto
Ron Santo Inspiration Award

Rich Budziak, Charlie Humm Service Award
Rich Budziak
Charlie Humm Service Award


Schaumburg Boomers, Organization of the Year
Schaumburg Boomers
Organization of the Year

Todd Post, Kankakee Community College, College Coach of the YEar
Todd Post,
Kankakee Community College

College Coach of the Year

Amateur Team of the Year
Amateur Team of the Year
Chicago Police and Fireman's Team


St. Paul Apostle School, Youth Team of the Year
St. Paul Apostle School
Youth Team of the Year

More Pics from the Event

Thank you, Terry Sullivan

A Pitch and Hit Club Shout-out to Terry Sullivan (long time Red Sox Scout) for his time with a great talk and discussion about how the Scouting System works in today's major and minor league systems (both domestically and internationally).



When the Pitch and Hit Club was organized 75 years back, the area scouts stepped up in order to stay in touch with one another and then honor their scouting  accomplishments. Soon the club added members of the front offices adding professional members from each the white sox and cubs organizations. Over the 75 years change has occurred in how each major league team has evolved with their scouting staffs. A few years ago we thought it might be a good idea to bring in some newer and innovative faces (both men and women) where we expanded our look to include the local college and high school coaches (former and present day) along with the professional staff's of the Chicagoland affiliated and independent baseball organizations, some members that are professional baseball agents and even some former and current minor and major league ball players.

Ye,s things have changed, but for the good. It is time to join or re-join and see what the Pitch and Hit Club of Chicagoland is doing to day for baseball in the area.

Please note that this is far from the "good ole boys club.....It is an organization of hardworking people that want to keep the game growing and our organization growing in many beneficial ways to pass this along in the future.

With strong membership over the past few years, we have been fortunate enough to accomplish these things (a few areas are listed below) :

  • College Scholarships
  • Showcases for local high school player for a multitude of professional scouts.
  • Donations to MLB Scouts association
  • Donations to White Sox Charities
  • Donations to Cubs Care
  • Donations to Grandkids (part of the Curtis Granderson Foundation)
  • Donations to the Chicago Food Depository

In addition to all this we lowered our yearly membership fee to $25.00 where we usually have at least 6-7 meetings a year and we serve a light meal beforehand. Honestly our fee is a steal. It is time that we share this with our friends on Facebook, Snapchat, and other social media outlets



A Warm THANK YOU from the Chicago White Sox and White Sox Charities

2017 Presentation to the Chicago White Sox Charities by Kevin Coe

Pictured with Al, Kevin, Herb and Bill

Pitch and Hit Club Outing to White Sox Park on Monday June 26th

A great night had by all........70 strong members and guests

White Sox Scoreboard

Dave Cook and Debbie

Tony D

White Sox Pic

Herb and Shannon

A festive group from the Pitch and Hit Club attends Cubs and Giants on chilly blustery evening on Wednesday May 24th.

Led by Kevin Coe (Pitch and Hit Club Award Winner) Chicago White Sox "ACE" Competing On National Stage

SARASOTA, Fla.—The White Sox created the Amateur City Elite program back in 2007 with the goal of providing inner city kids with opportunities in baseball. The ACE program has quickly developed a reputation in the Midwest; so far, 18 ACE alumni have been drafted and more than 150 have received college scholarships.

ACE’s travel teams typically play in regional tournaments in the Midwest, but they took on another challenge this week when the White Sox 2019 graduates played in the Wilson Premier East Championships in Sarasota.

Kevin Coe, the White Sox director of youth baseball initiatives, felt that his crew was ready for another challenge.

“We usually stay in the Midwest and play our games in the Midwest,” Coe said. “But we wanted to come down and see if we could hang with the South Florida big boys. I think we did pretty well down here.”

ACE went 2-1 in pool play, then won two playoff games to advance to the quarterfinals, where they matched up against Power Baseball and rising junior lefthander Bryce Hubbart (West Orange High, Winter Garden, Fla.). Hubbart was dominant, showcasing projectable athleticism, advanced command of a mid-80s fastball (that bumped 88 mph) and a tight breaking ball that he was able to spot to either side of the plate.

Still, ACE battled. In the top of the seventh inning, trailing 3-1, nine-hole hitter Mike Bolton Jr. poked a ground ball through the right side of the infield. Following Bolton, Kendall Pettis came to the plate a smoked a hard line drive to left field for a double.

“He’s got a bright future,” Coe said of Pettis, a rising junior at Brother Rice High in Chicago. “He plays the game hard. He can really play.”

Following Pettis, Damon Gladney Jr. hit a fly ball down the right field line that hooked foul by a matter of inches. A ground ball and a popup later, ACE was eliminated from the tournament.

“This is a very competitive group, they refuse to lose,” Coe said. “It’s one of our best groups yet. It’s probably our best group since that 2013 group that had Corey Ray, Ro Coleman and Darius Day. We think a lot of these guys are going to go play big Division I baseball.”

Wilson Premier Baseball national director Matt Bliven wasn’t surprised to see the Chicago kids compete at a high level.

“They normally just play in regional tournaments and they always do well in those so I think this was kind of exciting for them to be on a bigger stage,” Bliven said. “I knew that they could compete and I think that their kids knew once they stepped on the field that they could compete with anyone in this tournament.”

It hasn’t exactly been overnight, but ACE’s development has been quick, and it doesn’t appear to be slowing down any time soon. 2018 graduate Alek Thomas plays for ACE, and he’s established himself as a potential early draft pick with a strong showing against elite competition so far this summer.

ACE players practice four to five days per week in the winter. The program rents an indoor facility in the southern suburbs of Chicago where players can hit and take ground balls. The players also have access to a weight room, and in the fall they work on ACT prep.

Coe says the program has had several players score high on the ACT, with some prospects scoring as high as 28s and 30s. For context, a 28 on the ACT is in the 90th percentile of all of those who take the test. College coaches like recruiting players with good test scores and good grades because their institutions can often provide more in the way of academic scholarships to supplement athletic scholarships.

Ten years after its inception, the ACE program is still developing; Coe hopes that they’ll someday be able to provide a facility where ACE players can go on a daily basis. But the ACE program is well on its way. It’s a well-oiled machine, competing on the national stage and churning out top prospects with regularity.

The Pitch and Hit Club Congratulates Tim Anderson of the White Sox on his new contract, whom was our recent award winner (2017 Banquet) for our Chicago Pitch and Hit Club Rookie of the Year Award.White Sox shortstop, Tim Anderson

White Sox sign shortstop Tim Anderson to record six-year, $25 million contract

Anderson made his major league debut in 2016, playing 99 games for the White Sox. He hit .283/.306/.432 with 22 doubles, six triples, and nine home runs. There’s definitely room for growth and improvement, as there is with every young player, but that’s extremely good for his first time in the majors.

It might seem strange for the White Sox to give out a contract extension to a player who’s spent just four months in the majors, but it’s right in line with their philosophy.

Pitch and Hit Club Member Renewal

Fellow Members and prospective members, it is time to renew or join the club for 2017. DUES HAVE BEEN REDUCED TO $25 for the year.
Please click here for online Membership Application.


(FYI there are 2 minutes of commercials preceding the interview)

Len Diforte, Long time Pitch and Hit Club Member
Long time Pitch and Hit Member, Len Diforte (middle).
Also, pictured is Past-President of Pitch and Hit Club, Pete Caliendo (left) and Beverly Caliendo (right).

Lou Collier's Stars Practice at Curtis Granderson Stadium at UIC
Lou Collier's Stars Practice at Curtis Granderson Stadium at UIC
Lou Collier, Angela Christino (Beyond the Diamond), Derrick May (St. Louis Cardinals Hitting Coach) and Herb Forkenbrock

Pitch and Hit Club Donation to White Sox Charities
Pitch and Hit Club Presentation to White Sox Charities

Members Outing at Joliet Slammers
Pitch and Hit Club Members Outing at the Joliet Slammers in August 2016


Pitch and Hit Club presented check for Cubs Charities

Pitch and Hit Club presented check for Cubs Charities

At today's (7/20/16) Cubs game the Pitch and Hit Club presented to the Cubs a sizable check for Cubs Charities....pictured from Left to right are members Bill Motluck (treasurer), Kellon McFarlin (board member), Connie Falcone (Cubs Charities) Herb Forkenbrock (president), Russ Gangler (member).

Presentation to
the Joe Maddon
Respect 90 Foundation

Presentation to the Curtis Granderson "Grandkids" foundation form the Chicago Pitch and Hit Club

Corey RayPitch and Hit Club 2016 Honoree (Chicago Area Collegiate Player of the Year; COREY RAY - A Simeon Grad, Louisville OF, is chosen 5th in the 2016 MLB Draft

Congratulations from the Chicago Pitch and Hit Club!!

Pitch and Hit Club's Ken Miller receives Illinois "Coaches" Hall of
Fame Call

Ken Miller admits to being like a lot of young people when he left high school.

"I was one of those people that probably went to college for all of the wrong reasons. I went to be an athlete," the long-time Coal City coach said. "But once I was there, I started to realize all of the people that impacted me at a coaching level. It was really all I wanted to be."

After a four year stint at now consolidated Cornell High School (students in that community now attend Flanagan High School), Miller landed at Coal City, where he became something of a coaching utility knife. He coached the baseball team and the basketball team and, when the school instituted football in the fall of 1978, he jumped in there too as an assistant.

Over the course of the next 37 years, Miller became a fixture in the coaching staffs of many successful Coal City football teams. Last year, Miller elected to step down from the coaching ranks, and it marked the first time in nearly 50 years where Miller wasn't coaching some sport, somewhere.

That overwhelming commitment to student athletes didn't go unnoticed by the Illinois High School Football Coaches Association, as they have selected Miller to enter the organization's Hall of Fame. The 2016 class will be inducted on Saturday, April 2 in Champaign.

"I'm just very humbled by it all," Miller said. "It's probably one of the greatest honors I've ever had. I've always felt that one of the highest compliments someone can call you is to call you coach. I've been very blessed."

Miller never treated the coaching facet of his job as anything like a job.

"I was always something I very much looked forward to doing," Miller said. "At the end of a day of a classwork, it was a pleasure to go outside and help young kids in a way that you just can't in the classroom."

It would be easy for Miller to point to the 1993 season, the year that the Coalers captured the Class 2A state title as the highlight of his coaching career. But Miller really doesn't; he counts pretty much all of it among the highlights.

"I've coached for a very long time, and when you do that, you might take some of it for granted," Miller said. "I've tried not to. I've always felt very fortunate to do what I love to do for as long as I've done."

Although Miller willingly hung up his coaching whistle last season, he remains connected to Coal City and serves as the School Board President and remains connected to sports through his work as director of community relations for the Joliet Slammers, a Frontier League Independent Baseball team.

"I wasn't looking for the job; it just kind of came to me," Miller said. "And it's been a great thing. It allows me to stay connected to sports. And I'm happy to have it. Sports has given me everything I have. I'm happy to try to give some back."





Meeting Schedule

Please note meetings are held on the 2nd Wednesday of the month. Please check the meetings tab for updates and more information.

Meetings start at 6:30 with a light meal followed by club business and a guest speaker.



The mission of the Pitch & Hit Club of Chicago is to expand, develop and promote the great game of baseball at all levels. We are particularly interested in reaching out to the youth of our communities to increase involvement in baseball here in the Chicagoland area. We continue our 7 decade tradition of honoring the people who have given so much to the game from the youth and amateur levels all the way to the major leagues! Our upcoming annual awards dinner in January 2017 will be our 71st event honoring true baseball heroes!

Thanks to the hard work of our Board and Club Members along with the support of the community, we are able to continue our time honored commitments, donating a portion of our dinner proceeds to numerous great baseball-related causes such as The Professional Baseball Scouts Foundation, Cubs Charities, White Sox Charities, Joe Maddon's Respect 90 Foundation, and the Grand-kids Foundation (Curtis Granderson). As club president, I pledge to continue the good work done by previous presidents and club members dating back to our club's inception in 1942.

Herb Forkenbrock, President

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