Infantry Illinois National Guard Association
‘Sarge’ McKinnon ~ Pioneer|
In over forty years in 16-inch softball, Leonard “Sarge” McKinnon
forged a legendary reputation as a player, manager, umpire and
administrator. The Wendell Phillips High School graduate started
playing softball in 1942 at the Wabash YMCA at 37th and Wabash
when he founded the Nighthawks. He played first base and was
their top hitter. The next year the Nighthawks became the Vagabonds
and McKinnon played with them for three years, leading them
in hitting and fielding. He then played with the Junior Clowns
where they played out of the Southside Boys Club.
McKinnon’s softball career took off when he became a member
of the legendary Ironmen, organized in 1946 by Stanley “Champ”
Schealey. McKinnon played first base, short center, and third
base with the Ironmen for 31 years, leading them in home runs.
In 1971 Leonard McKinnon became the manager of the Ironmen,
a position he held from 1971 to 1981. He was also league commissioner
from 1966 to 1981 when retired from active playing to become
an umpire, a position he still holds.
Leonard McKinnon and his wife of 48 years have seven children
and twelve grandchildren. He retired from the Illinois National
Guard as a Sergeant First Class after 36 years of service.
2002 Chicago 16” Hall of Fame Program)
Email 8th Infantry
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