Jeff Davey’s love for the game of softball was already well-established by the time he started playing 12-inch USSSA softball. A self-proclaimed softball junkie, Davey’s 16-inch career began with a team from Melrose Park, Illinois – The Lords – while at the same time he played 14-inch softball in Oak Park, Illinois. Driving from park to park to play up to three games in one night is both hilarious and a fond memory.
While playing basketball at the La Grange YMCA another player asked Davey if he wanted to join a 12-inch softball team in Downers Grove that would become the heart of his playing experience.
That team was the Bank of Westmont, and for the next 22 years Davey was part of the evolution of the team as it became one of the most consistently accomplished teams in the Midwest. “The Bank,” as it was affectionately known, went on to win numerous State, Regional and National Tournaments.
Davey remembers fondly the 1984 A World Tournament in Anaheim, California. The Bank, a B team at the time, finished ninth out of 105 teams. Another memorable tournament occurred in Lafayette, Louisiana over Labor Day weekend in 1985 when the tournament was never finished due to a hurricane hitting the area. In 1993, Davey was fortunate to be a member of the Mid-America Concrete team that won the National Tournament in Lawton, Oklahoma. In 2002, his team, the Chicago Classics White, won the Senior Nationals in Phoenix, Arizona.
Davey is most proud of the legacy that the Bank of Westmont created by respecting the sport and by playing the game the right way. The Bank respected all their opponents and each other during that 22-year run.
Davey would like to thank his wife of 45 years, Pam, for all the latitude she gave him to play the sport that has meant so much over the years, including all the nights and weekends away to compete in tournaments. He is proud that Pam did such a great job raising their four daughters – Amanda, Kim, Laura and Carolyn.
For fear of omitting somebody, Davey would never even begin to try to salute all the great players he played with over the years. Most of those players are already in the Illinois USSSA Hall of Fame. Two people do, however, merit special mention. Gary Stone (HOF 2016) was his traveling buddy for most of those 22 years. Davey cannot even begin to count the chewing tobacco stains on his uniform from Gary’s “spittin’ and chewin’” as they drove to another tournament with the windows down. The other person who deserves special mention is Marcel Lavesque (HOF 2003). Marcel is 93 now and was the best sponsor a team could ever hope to have cheering them on. He is a gentleman, but a helluva competitive individual.
The honor of being inducted into the Illinois USSSA Hall of Fame means everything to Davey and is a meaningful recognition of a softball career and period of life that he holds very dear. He looks forward to styling his Hall of Fame ring as part of his daily wardrobe. Davey wishes to thank all his teammates, opponents, Brenda Paulson and the Hall of Fame committee for this very humbling honor.
Well Cheezo, it’s been a long time coming, but welcome to the Illinois USSSA Hall of Fame!