Kentucky Bourbons

Like Milwaukee, Louisville had a strong softball tradition. Jiffy Club, led by Bill Gatti and Cobbie Harrison, won the ASA Championship in Jacksonville in 1972 and there were several other strong teams in that area. Louisville, owned by ASA Hall of Famer Don Rardin, Sr., joined the American Professional Slo-Pitch League in 1977. Led again by Gatti and Harrison as well as Phil Schroer, Scott Mauger, Terry Davis, Chuck Winders, Don Rardin, Jr. and mid-year acquisition Fred Miller, the Bourbons were one of the top teams in the League on the field and in attendance at their home field, Bishop David. They were regularly featured on the front page of the Louisville Courier Journal and on the local television stations.

They narrowly lost out to Detroit Caesars for the best regular season record but were upset in the playoffs by Baltimore. In 1978, Larry Gatti of McDonald’s of Louisville purchased the team. Although they failed to make the playoffs that year, they made it to the World Series in 1979 where they lost to Milwaukee.  In 1981, they captured the Pro Championship, defeating New England. Bill Gatti led the way as he did each year. In 1982, Pro Softball’s last season, the Bourbons lost a heartbreaking one run game in the last inning to eventual champion Milwaukee.

Bill Gatti continued his Hall of Fame career with Elite and Smythe Sox and Don Rardin, Jr. continued his great play with Southside Automotive and Bell Construction.


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