When will this Day be celebrated? November 24th of each calendar year.
What is National 16 Inch Softball Day?
On November 24, 1887, the game of softball was invented at the Farragut Boat Club in Chicago by alumni of Harvard and Yale. They were bored waiting for the ticker tape score of their football game so they wrapped up a boxing glove which was approximately 16 inch in diameter and took a broom stick and started the game that would be played indoors until the start of the 21st Century. In Chicago the game was played with a 16-inch ball because the parks and schoolyards were small. The sport has been played by generations and is part of the culture of the City. In the 30’s and 40’s it was played professionally. The 70’s and 80’s were it’s peak years. Games in the 90’s were on television for years. Chicago High Schools play as well. Today leagues are consistently played outdoors and in domes all year, and at least 80 tournaments are played in Illinois, Iowa, Arizona, Texas, Oklahoma, Wisconsin, Oregon, California and Las Vegas to name a few spots. National titles for different level play for men and women are played during the year. The majors are played Labor Day weekend. It’s a great sport and not as dangerous as 12 inch softball. The Chicago 16 Inch Softball Hall of Fame started in 1996 and the museum opened in 2009 in Forest Park, Illinois.
Why is this day being created?
To educate people where, why and when softball started but also to learn about the great 16 inch game in order to encourage more people to play. The Chicago 16 Softball Hall of Fame mission is to preserve the history of the sport, promote the game and recognize the best men and women players, organizers, umpires, managers, sponsors and media. Having this day will be a pride full moment for the thousands of current and past players, fans and families each year. Hopefully it will be shared enough to attract more folks to play.
How will this day be observed?
- Promoting on social media.
- Sharing a video on the history of how the game was started.
- A tournament will be played on the Friday after Thanksgiving.
- Open house at the Hall of Fame Museum.
Who created this day? This day was created by Allen Maag in 2022.