1953-54 Chicago St. Mel Boys’ Team

Year Inducted: 1983

Category: Teams

Schools / Organizations: (Chicago) St. Mel High School

Biography: St. Mel was the first catholic school at the time to sweep all four major crowns in the City of Chicago–The St. George Holiday Tournament, North Division Catholic Title, The Chicago Catholic League Championship and the Chicago City Championship.  In the city title game, St. Mel defeated another Hall of Fame team, Coach Jim Brown’s DuSable HS by a score of 83-74.  Over 20.000 people jammed into Chicago Stadium for the game–the largest crowd to see a high school game in Illinois.  St. Mel was coached by Jim Weaver who had previously won a City Championship at St. Patrick HS.  St. Mel was led by all-state guard Ed Gleason, who went on to play at Notre Dame University.  The overall record was 26-5.  Also on this team was Gene Pingatore, who went on to become the winningest boys’ coach in the state of Illinois at Westchester St. Joseph HS.

Team Members in the Picture:

Back Row (L to R):  Ed Ahern, Dennis Migala, Bob Slawinski, Mike Gentile, Mike Hawkins, and Bill Spillane.

3rd Row (L to R):  Manager John Sullivan, Bill Suffka, John Dineen, Mike Carosiell, Bob Bober, Ed Gordon and Manager Ray Peterson.

2nd Row (L to R):  Jim Gilboy, Ed Gleason, Coach Jim Weaver, Brother Jerome DAvid, Andy Sloan and Pat Boyle.

Front Row (L to R): Jerry Kowalski, Gene Pingatore.