The Passing of Chuck Lockinger

April 29, 2006

Rockford, IL

Rockford, IL.  
Chuck Lockinger, ASA Player Rep for the Chicago Metro and long time men's fastpitch player, sponsor, tournament coordinator, and basically everything else you can think of in the game of fastpitch softball died this past Thursday night, April 27th.   This is a truly sad day for men's fastpitch and Northern Illinois.   I got my first exposure to the men's major circuit with Chuck back in the early 90's.    So I owe him much in letting me experience a men's major schedule, for the first time, and still working with me to expose younger males to the game of fastpitch.   

Most of the men's and boy's national tournaments, in Rockford, were the result of much of Chuck's hard work. Chuck not only put in countless hours of volunteer work, but also put in alot of his own money to run teams and fund tournaments. Even as the game has diminished to almost extinction, Chuck was still working with me to expose my 23 and under club team to fastpitch and young boys through the National Youth Sports Program. The last two years Chuck picked up the entry fee to allow the Rock Valley College club team to participate in the Dick Tracy tournament.    Chuck was most pivotal in a article that I have been working on, for quite awhile, that has now been published in the International Journal of Sport Management.   The article is titled: Addressing the Declining Participation Rates in United States Men’s Fastpitch Softball:  Do International Governance and Organizational Structures Provide the Answers?   The article compares and contrasts the ASA structure to the Australian Softball Federation's structure.   Since Chuck has been apart of the ASA for many years he was pivotal in helping me understand how the ASA works and introducing me to several long time ASA folks down in Mobile a couple years ago.   

Even though Chuck was assertive about his opinions and views on how the game should be run, he always made decisions on what he thought was best for the game. Many did not always agree with him, but I hope most respected him for his love for the game. I know there were issues that I didn't agree with him on, but I always respected his passion for men's fastpitch softball.  I know that many teams have not come back to the Dick Tracy, because of the weather and it always seems to be cold or rainy on that weekend. I would like to see, out of respect for Chuck, that for one last time that we get as many teams to participate as possible. I know, last year, he mentioned to me that he didn't know how much longer he could run the tournament as the number of teams kept decreasing. It is just a thought, that might be a good way to pay respect to Chuck.

Chuck will be missed and this is not a good day for men's fastpitch.

Tim Hatten
BHAC Pride
Rockford, IL.
Visitation will be Wednesday, May 3rd from 4-8 pm.
The funeral will be Thursday, May 4th at 11 am.
Both the visitation and the funeral will be held at Schneider,Leuht,Merwin and Cooney Funeral Home in Woodstock. It is located at 1211 N Seminary (il rt 47 n)