Taylor Street Bred National Champions

The following individuals, whose roots go back to Taylor Street’s Little Italy, the port-of-call of Chicago’s Italian Americans…the community Jane Addams labeled “The Hull House Neighborhood,” have either been crowned as National Champions in their field or were members of a team that won a National Title.

• Nick Fosco: 1928 Golden Gloves Champion.
• Richard Guerrero: 1950s Golden Gloves Champion.
• Jerry “Bugsy” Piscatello: 1960s International Gin Rummy Champion.*
• Eddie “Steady Eddie” Giampa: 1960s International Gin Rummy Champion.
• Marc Romano: 1977 member Jr. College National Champion Wrestling Team.
Amerigo Romano 1978 member Jr. College National Championship Wrestling 2nd Pl. Team
• George Cozzi: 1976 National Judo Champion.
• Jim Divito: 1980s National Senior Racquetball Champion.
• Bobby Garippo: 1990s 5 time member National Champion Windy City Softball Team (Elected to Hall of Fame).
• Ruffolo Family: 2006 National Ivory Soap Family Title Holders
• Angelina Romano: 2013 National Karate Champion. (To represent the USA in the International Karate Championships in Las Vegas 2014.)
Send additional names of National Champions to Vince Romano:
Email: VRomano@TaylorStreetArchives.com; Cell: 312-218-4044
*We never knew how good we were as card players until we were old enough to venture out of our neighborhood. One club, the Morgan Fads S.A.C., produced 2 international champion gin rummy players plus a third contestant that came within a whisker from making it 3 out of 3 for the Morgan Fads. Imagine, in the whole world, one little known inconspicuous club harbored, arguably, the best gin rummy players on the planet. Jerry “Bugsy” Piscatello won the first Las Vegas International championship. Almost back-to-back, Eddie “Steady Eddy” Giampa also won the international championship. And Joe “Hammer” Delessandro barely missed winning a third championship (7th place). All three were from Taylor Street. All three were from just one of the numerous clubs that saturated our neighborhood. All three were first generation Italian Americans. It seems that we, as the prologue to the Taylor Street Archives attests, did “excel in virtually everything the larger society had ordained for us…from digging sewers to enterprises in which only the most talented and courageous could excel.” The Club. www.TaylorStreetArchives.com

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