1997 Pioneer Player: Rick Sweeney

Rick Sweeney

A lead-off hitter, Rick Sweeney hit line drives with adequate power and used the whole field to forge a .615 lifetime batting average with more than 350 home runs. Competing for The Lantern, a USSSA Class A team back when there was not an AA or Major program, Sweeney played the outfield alongside two other Illinois USSSA Hall of Fame inductees, Terry Mueller and Tom Spahn. They won the USSSA Class A State Title in 1976.

Speed was Sweeney’s trademark; in his career he scored from second base on a fly ball 25 times. A two-time member of the USSSA Class A All-State team, he was named to the All-Tournament team at a USSSA-sanctioned event seven times.

In 1971, The Lantern, a team made up entirely of players from the then small town of Naperville, finished fifth at the USSSA Class A World Tournament.

Sweeney also played professional softball in the early-80s with the Chicago Storm.