Lewa “Rocco” Yacilla

Lewa “Rocco” Yacilla was one of most successful and competitive softball pitchers in American history, dominating the Chicago circuit for years.

Known as “Mr. Softball,” Lewa “Rocco” Yacilla became the most dominant pitcher in Chicago softball history. Despite a disabled arm, Yacilla racked up an amazing 3,000-plus wins in his career, including the only no-hitter in the history of the Windy City League, in 1939.

He played on eight championship teams in the Windy City League, and starred on five runner-up squads, plying his skill for semi-pro and corporate teams like Fewer Boilers, Kool Vent and the Witt Hanley Yankees.

Following his playing days, he was a park director in the Chicago Parks system, mostly in Gompers Park. He continued to champion the sport, and to broaden the choices offered to physically challenged children.

Lewa was elected to the Chicago American Softball Hall of Fame in 1963. He died in 1989 and was elected to the National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame in 1997.