Richard J. Dailey Friend of Softball Award
Born into a family of six on December 18, 1923, Phil Sutera attended Mark Twain Grammar School and Thomas Kelly High School at 42nd and California. Phil Sutera’s softball career began early at the age of sixteen when he played 14" ball against Ted Klusinki, a future White Sox player. In 1942 he played softball at Çlyde Stadium with Red Hurter. He managed a Little League team in the 50’s.
Like many young men of his day, Phil Sutera answered the call of his country when he served for four years in the Marine Corp after graduating from high school. During his time in the Marines, Sutera served in Zambia, Mendinowia, the Phillipines, and Bejing, China. Despite his duties, he still managed to play 12" and 14" softball.
While he is a true softball fan, Sutera’s past also includes a stint at football. He played offense and defense - full back and linebacker - on a semi-pro team. He also played on a semi-pro baseball team near a quarry where the left fielder had to retrieve the ball when it went in the water.
When it comes to softball, Phil Sutera is definitely a member of the “no glove” contingency. His favorite player is Willie Frencl of the Bobcats. Sutera remembers Frencl as the only player who could hit the awning on a house - a street and two sidewalks away from Normandy Park.
High on his list of favorite parks is Hodgkins and Forest Park. He feels that Forest Park has all the facilities treat the players like they are at home. He likes such young teams as Ice and the Blues because they play with their hearts. Sutera also feels that the modern game is faster and a little faster. Years ago players would wipe out a position player, but today’s players know they need to work the next day, so they avoid unnecessary collisions.
Sutera feels that getting the Daley Award is the highest level of softball achievement. He is truly a Friend of Softball.