Travel Softball Suffers Huge Loss

Renowned Illinois Coach Dies Of Heart Attack

MOLINE For over 14 years, the Lemont Rockers travel softball teams were led by a man with more passion, drive, commitment and dedication than anyone in the world of softball. He inspired kids with more than sports knowledge—he taught them how to succeed in the tough situations in life. 
Late yesterday afternoon, Jim “Didi” DiGregorio suffered a heart attack and passed away on the softball field during the Lemont Rockers game at the ASA Nationals Tournament in Moline, Illinois. 
In 1994, the Rockers were founded by three competitive, softball loving fathers—Jim DiGregorio, Bill Sokolis and Jim Ross—that loved kids and wanted something better than a 12-game recreational softball season. In DiGregorio’s kitchen, with little experience and lots of ambition, the Lemont Rockers were created. Today, the Rockers have developed into a nationally known softball program with many of the members having moved on to college programs with the help of DiGregorio. 
DiGregorio’s teams were not only known for their talent, but also for their bright fluorescent and neon uniforms with a batman logo. Flashy uniforms aside, the Lemont Rockers became a staple in the tradition of Illinois Softball. Hundreds of girls played for DiGregorio over the years. 
“Didi was one of my best friends. He was the true definition of the word coach,” said Bill Sokolis, co-owner of the NPF Chicago Bandits. The Bandits will be honoring Jim DiGregorio with a memorial ceremony before the start of their game against the New England Riptide at 6:30 PM on August 11th at their Judson University field in Elgin, Illinois.