JOLIET – Joliet West graduate Mark Carlson, a Major League Baseball umpire for almost 20 years, will be the guest speaker at the 70th annual Old Timers Baseball Association of Will County banquet. The event is scheduled for Jan. 31 at the Clarion (formerly the Holiday Inn) at Larkin Avenue and Interstate 80. Tickets are $50, or $500 for a table of 10, and may be obtained by calling Mike Turk at 815-741-2612.
Carlson, 49, made his major league debut during the 1999 season. His first assignment was an interleague series between the Cubs and White Sox at Wrigley Field. He worked the 2003 and 2017 All-Star games; the 2017 NL Wild Card Game; 2007 and 2015 NL Division Series; 2005, 2011 and 2012 AL Division Series; the 2013 and 2014 NL Championship Series; the 2015 World Series and the 2017 ALCS. In addition, he worked the 2018 ALCS between Boston and Houston and was behind the plate for Game 4, an 8-6 Red Sox victory.
After graduating from Joliet West, where he was a catcher on the baseball team, Carlson continued his catching career at Parkland College. He was inducted into the Parkland Hall of Fame in 2016.
Carlson also served in the U.S. Marine Corps and has worked with various charitable organizations during his professional life. In addition to Carlson, the Old Timers banquet will feature recognition of the youth baseball team of the year and area high school softball and baseball pitchers and players of the year.
Brooks wins 500th game: University of St. Francis coach Steve Brooks earned his 500th victory as an National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics women’s basketball coach by leading the Fighting Saints to a 63-57 victory over Keiser University. He spent his first 18 years coaching at Indiana Wesleyan University where he totaled 469 victories and won two NAIA national championships (2007 and 2013).
After leading the Saints to 22 wins last season, he has 12th-ranked USF off to a 9-3 start. Brooks’ career record is 500-146 (.774 percent), and he is fourth on the list of winningest active NAIA D-II women’s basketball coaches. Leading USF were Kaitlin Aylward (23 points) and Madi Canady (10 points).