CMSA Hall of Fame Inductees 2007-2008

  • Richard Essig
  • Art Johnston
  • Doug Malm
  • Robert "Bobby" Nicholson
  • Sidetrack


  • Peg Grey
  • Marcia Hill
  • Jimmy McKinzey
  • Sam Molinaro
  • Dick Uyvari

Art Johnston

Born in North Tonawanda, NY, Art arrived in Chicago in 1972 to continue his studies at Northwestern University. Besides being a bartender at Carol's Speakeasy,  Art managed a 16" softball team where he met Sam Molinaro, first President of the Gay Athletic Association, the predecessor of Metropolitan Sports Association (MSA), later CMSA. Art joined the GAA board to help further develop the softball leagues and help GAA expand into many other sports. Art would tell you that the camaraderie and friendships were the highlights of joining GAA/MSA. Over the years Art has been the recipient of many local and national awards.

1978-manager of the Carol Speakeasy 16" softball team.
1978 to 1991-served on Board of Directors of GAA/MSA.
1982 to 1990's- manager and player on Sidetrack softball and bowling teams.
1982, Art and his life partner Jose "Pepe" Pena begin to sponsor many men's and women's sports teams through their video bar, Sidetrack, which continues to date, now in its 26th year.
1986-led the successful multi-year effort to gain membership for MSA in the North American Gay Amateur Athletic Alliance (NAGAAA), the national gay softball organization, finally allowing Chicago MSA teams to participate in sanctioned tournaments across the country and in the annual NAGAAA World Series of Gay Softball.
1988-helped lead the successful campaign to pass the historic gay rights law in the city of Chicago.
1992-2008-Co-founder of Equality Illinois, a pro-gay rights statewide lobby group.
1993-helped lead passage of the Human Rights ordinance in Cook County.
1998-Inducted into the Gay and Lesbian Hall of Fame, the city of Chicago's prestigious recognition of having made a far reaching contribution to the quality of life for Chicago's LGBT community.
2003-Inducted into the NAGAAA Softball Hall of Fame.
2005-helped lead passage of the "gay rights law", making it illegal to discriminate against someone on the basis of their sexual orientation or gender identity across the entire state of Illinois.

* Information is current as of March 2008.

Dick Uyvari

Dick is a native Chicagoan who joined the Gay Athletic Association (GAA), the predecessor to MSA/CMSA in 1980. While he played and enjoyed softball and volleyball, his true love is bowling as is evident here.

    * 1980-joins GAA's (predecessor of MSA and later CMSA) Wednesday night bowling.
    * 1981 to 1982-Bowling League Secretary/Treasurer to Tuesday and Wednesday bowling.
    * 1983-Co Director of the International Gay Bowling Organization's Annual Tournament.
    * 1985 to 1990- MSA/CMSA board member
    * 1985-Co-Founded Strike Against AIDS, to raise money for AIDS related not for profit organizations, to date having raised more then $500,000.
    * 1986 to 1990- Director of bowling operations.
    * 1987-Founded Athletes Against AIDS, which enabled HIV-impacted individuals to participate in CMSA bowling leagues, at no cost to themselves.
    * 1988- Founded the Chicago Pride Week Invitational Bowling Tournament (now CPI), now in its 19th year, this tournament has raised and donated more then $90,000 to both AIDS-related and Women's Cancer Programs.
    * 1990-Recipient of the CPI Award of Merit for dedication to the success of CMSA
    * 1991-very proud to have bowled two 300 games within an 8 day stretch
    * 2006-Co Director of Gay Games VII, the bowling division. Through the GG Outreach Scholarship Fund, Dick personally co-sponsored the lesbian soccer team from Soweto, Africa so they may attend. Will repeat to sponsor this same team for Cologne, 2010.
    * 2006-Inducted into the Gay & Lesbian Hall of Fame, the city of Chicago's prestigious recognition of having made a far reaching contribution to the quality of life in Chicago's LGBT community.
    * 2007-Dick is most fortunate to have continually received the unqualified support and encouragement of his life partner Joe La Pat, now in their 37th year

* Information is current as of March 2007.

Doug Malm

In 1989, Doug arrived in Chicago from Rock Island, IL and wanted to get involved in our community and meet new friends. Joining MSA's Friday night bowling league was a good start. His organizational talents and heart of a volunteer quickly led to accepting leadership responsibilities. You can always count on Doug to help organize a team, league or tournament; help set up a fundraiser or simply attend one; you could often find him on one of his sports committees offering ideas to benefit that sport. Over the years, he's held leadership positions in many sports that included bowling, volleyball, tennis, softball and badminton. Each time, leaving his print for others to follow.

1989 to 1999 - athlete,MSA tennis league and Wednesday and Friday night bowling league. Served on the Chicago Pride Invitational (CPI) Committee, later as tournament director.
1993-joined the Sunday Open Softball league playing for Roscoe's.  Attended the Gay Softball World Series each year (except 2) since 1993.
1993 to 1997 - served on the MSA main board holding President and Secretary offices during that time.
1995 to Current-athlete, volleyball league and  is a committee member to date.  Managed a volleyball team for the past several years.
1997 to2002-committee member, Open Softball.
1998 - 2000 - athlete, Flag Football league.
1999 – 2006 – athlete and manager for a C division team then a B division team.
2000 to 2005 - served on the Beach Volleyball committee.  Athlete and managed a team. Senior cup committee member. Umpire, Open Softball. Served as Open Division Softball League's representative to the NAGAAA meetings.  Served on the Logistics, Membership and Arbitration Committees for NAGAAA.
2002 to 2006 - commissioner for the Open Softball league (43 teams)
2006 to Current - committee member of the inaugural Badminton league.
2007 to Current - returned to Open Division Softball umpiring and served as Co-Commissioner for the league.  Began coaching and managing a D division team.
2007 - recipient of Open Softball's James R. Brody Award for outstanding sportsmanship.

* Information is current as of March 2008.

Jimmy McKinzey

Jimmy came from the Bloomington area and now makes his home in Cincinnati. He would tell you that he played volleyball for the recreational fun and social aspect of playing. Early on, he took on many leadership roles within GAA and today is an official working with adult and youth volleyball teams traveling within the Midwest area. Most amazing is having accomplished so much while being an AIDS survivor since 1985.

    * 1978-Arrived in Chicago and played volleyball, informally at Lincoln Park.
    * 1982 to 1992-Commissioner of the Volleyball League (at the DePaul Settlement House).
    * 1984 to 1987-GAA/MSA Main Board Member.
    * 1984 to 1991-Founded volleyball's, The Chicago Fall Classic Tournament.
    * 1985-Sucessfully brought the 1st NAGVA National Championships to Chicago.
    * 1985 to 1986-Vice President of NAGVA.
    * 1986-Successfully brought the NAGVA National Championships to Chicago
    * 1990-Successfully brought the NAGVA National Championships to Chicago
    * 1991-Successfully brought the NAGVA National Championships to Chicago.
    * 1992 to current-Moved back to his family hometown of Cincinnati where he continues to officiate as a USVBA sanctioned official.
    * 1992 to 2007-Referee, Ohio High School Athletic Association
    * 2001 to 2007-member, Board of Directors, Ohio Region of USA Volleyball
    * 2004 to 2007-Voted "Golden Whistle" award from the Volleyball Coaches Assoc.
    * 2007-Current Vice President of local High School Officials Assoc.

* Information is current as of March 2007.

Marcia Hill

Marcia came to us from the Dekalb, Illinois area. From the date she joined GAA in 1983, she was involved as a player and many leadership roles. As a current official in softball, volleyball and flag football, she still finds time to swing a softball bat with her friends in Evanston.

    * 1983-Joined Women's 12" softball league.
    * 1983 to 1992-Played Women's Volleyball
    * 1983 to 1998-Women's softball league, player or coach.
    * 1984 to 1992-Served on the GAA/MSA Main Board.
    * 1984 to 1992-Commissioner of the women's volleyball league.
    * 1984-Co Director of volleyball's Fall Classic, the women's division.
    * 1984 to 1987-Coached a women's flag football team.
    * 1985 to 1986-Co Director of the NAGVA tournament held here. Coached a women's softball team.
    * 1987 to 1990-Joined the men's softball league.
    * 1988-Pitched the men's Big Reds softball team to the league championship.
    * 1988 to 1992- Founder and Commissioner of the Women's Flag Football.
    * 1988-Director of Women's Stars and Stripes Softball Tournament, 4th of July.
    * 1990-Co Director of the NAGVA tournament held here. Became USVBA certified.
    * 2004-Commissioner of Women's Flag Football. Official of Men's Flag Football
    * 2005 to 2006- Official at The Gay Super Bowl V.
    * 2005-Head Referee at Super Bowl VI.
    * 2005 to 2006-Umpire at The ChiTown Softball Classic and Senior Cup.
    * 2005 to 2006-Umpire for the Open Softball League.
    * 2005 to 2006-Served on the CMSA Main Board, currently as its President

* Information is current as of March 2007.

Peg Grey

Peg was a native Chicagoan who utilized sports as a way to bring more of the LGBT community into the sports area. Her contributions were numerous, not only to CMSA but on an international stage. Peg transitioned into the spiritual realm on February 24, 2007.

    * 1981 to 1991-GAA board member.
    * 1982-Founded Proud to Run and the Chicago Chapter of Frontrunners.
    * 1983-Founded Chicago Arts and Athletics, later to become Team Chicago.
    * 1983-instrumental to add women's basketball, softball, tennis and volleyball into GAA.
    * 1985-instrumental to add women's bowling into GAA.
    * 1987-instrumental to add women's racquetball into GAA.
    * 1988-instrumental to form the Chicago Pride Week Invitational Bowling Tournament.
    * 1989-International Federation of Gay Games, First Female Co President
    * 1992-Inducted into the Gay and Lesbian Hall of Fame, the city of Chicago's prestigious recognition of having made far reaching contribution to the quality of life for Chicago's LGBT community.
    * 2001-Spearheaded movement to raise funds for the 1st Inter-African Soccer Tournament allowing a Namibian team to travel to Johannesburg, for their 1st experience as an "out" sports team.
    * 2006-At GG VII, her volleyball team takes bronze and Peg is awarded with a sportsmanship award from amongst all participating teams.
    * 2006-International Federation of Gay Games, receives honorary lifetime membership.
    * 2007-Peg had the unqualified support and encouragement of her life partner. Grace Luedke, for 40 years.

* Information is current as of March 2007.

Richard Essig

Richard "Rich" Essig was born in Chicago and joined the Army during World War II from 1942 to 1945. After the war he returned to Chicago and worked as an actor for Theater First. Along with good friend and CMSA founder Sam Molinaro, Rich helped organize many fundraisers to financially support our young league. His quick wit and humor made it easy for Rich to meet and befriend new members coming into the league. His love of bowling has never diminished since he still plays today.

1982 to 1992 - Athlete, GAA/MSA bowling league.
1982 to 1992 - Organized league fundraisers to support GAA/MSA.
1987 - Instrumental in establishing Athletes Against Aids, which enabled HIV-impacted individuals to participate in the MSA bowling league at no cost to themselves.
1985 to 1990 - Served as bowling league secretary.
1982 to 1990 - Served on the GAA/MSA main board.
1991 - President of the CMSA  main board after the retirement of founder Sam Molinaro.
2007 - Athlete, continues to bowl in the Tuesday night bowling league

* Information is current as of March 2008.

Robert "Bobby" Nicholson

Robert "Bobby" Nicholson was a local from Evergreen Park but lived in Kansas City, MO until his return to Chicago in 1965. Always a sportsman, he joined the Gay Athletic Association, the predecessor to MSA and later CMSA, to continue his lifelong enjoyment of playing team sports. Joining GAA gave Bobby the opportunity to meet other like-minded sportsmen, gain new friendships locally and around the country while at tournament play.
A memorable moment was in 1980, a best of 3 series 16" softball challenge between his Bushmen and the mainly straight New Flight team. They lost the first game and came back in extra innings to win game two. With no daylight left, they returned the next day for the final game along with over 300 cheering fans on the sidelines. There was no one left at the bars! The Bushmen won game 3 and the series in extra innings to the delight of the fans. Some say, that was the beginning of Chicago organized gay softball.
1980 to 2008 - active member  with GAA/MSA/CMSA as athlete, sponsor or sports official.
1980 to 1999 - athlete, 12" and 16" softball teams. Team member of 13 NAGAAA World Series softball tournaments.
1983 to 1999 - as co owner of the North End Bar, financially sponsored softball, bowling, volleyball and flag football teams.
1984 to 1990 - bowled in the Thursday and Friday night GAA/MSA leagues.
1995 - Recepient of Open Softball's James R. Brody Award for outstanding sportsmanship.
1997 to 2003 - CMSA's Open Softball league umpire.
1999 to 2007 - Founding committee member of the Senior Cup and team sponsor of Bob's Old Bats
2001 to 2007 - Umpire for the North American Gay Amateur Athletic Alliance (NAGAAA) Softball World Series.
2003 - athlete, Men's Flag Football, Jackhammers.
2004 to 2006 - CMSA Open Softball Umpire in Chief for league of 43 teams.
2004 to 2005 - Umpire in Chief for the ChiTown Softball Classic
2004 - voted Most Valuable Player at the Emerald City Classic softball tournament in Seattle. by his Chicago Jackhammer teammates.
2004 - athlete, Windy City Athletic Association's basketball league, Spin team.
2006 - Umpire in Chief-Chicago Gay Games for both the men and women's divisions.
2007 - Umpire, Open Softball league

* Information is current as of March 2008.

View Introductory Speech (PDF)

Sam Molinaro

Sam was the first President of the Gay Athletic Association after its founding in 1979, later known as MSA/CMSA. What started as fun 16" softball games played between four taverns in 1978 expanded over the years to now include 7 men and women sports programs, covering 18 league seasons, serving over 2,600 Chicagoland members. The largest LGBT sports organization in the country.

    * 1978-Organizes 16" softball between four taverns on Sundays. About 55 players.
    * 1979-1st President of the Gay Athletic Association, a not for profit organization, 16' softball.
    * 1979 to 1991-Sam is the President of GAA, later MSA, has goals to expand sports programs within the LGBT community.
    * 1979-GAA incorporates Tuesday afternoon bowling league.
    * 1980-GAA incorporates the Wednesday Night Bowling league.
    * 1981-GAA incorporates Thursday Night Bowling and Men's Volleyball. Total GAA membership is 440.
    * 1982-GAA incorporates Men's Volleyball, playing courts at the Salvation Army.
    * 1983-GAA incorporates Women's Volleyball, courts at DePaul Settlement House.
    * 1983-GAA incorporates Women's softball league. GAA receives the "Organization of the Year" award from Gay Chicago Magazine.
    * 1984-GAA becomes computerized and receives the "Organization of the Year" award.
    * 1984- GAA incorporates Women's basketball, courts at Jane Addams House.
    * 1985-GAA incorporates the Tennis league, predecessor to Second City Tennis.
    * 1985-GAA changes name to Metropolitan Sports Association.
    * 1985-MSA incorporates Friday Night Bowling and Monday Women's Bowling Leagues.
    * 1985- MSA is recognized for "Organizational Excellence" by Chicago Gay Magazine.
    * 1986-MSA incorporates 12' softball league. Total MSA membership hits 1,000.
    * 1987-MSA adds complimentary membership policy to People with Aids (PWA).
    * 1988-MSA incorporates Women's Flag Football. 10 year anniversary with total membership reaching 1,200.
    * 1991-Sam retires from Metropolitan Sports Association. Membership passes 1,650.
    * 2007-Today, CMSA offers organized recreational and competitive play in 8 men's and women's sports, 18 league seasons for members numbering over 2,600

* Information is current as of March 2007.


Sidetrack opened as a music video bar in 1982, at that time a new concept. Owners Jose "Pepe" Pena and life partner Art Johnston have always believed that, through their business, they had a responsibility to support the Chicago LGBT community. They did this by organizing and holding political, social, cultural and sporting events. CMSA was often a beneficiary of these events. Meantime, the bar grew to be a big success. Art and Pepi are especially proud that Sidetrack's success has allowed them work in the area of civil rights for our community. Their labor has resulted in helping legislative passages of laws within the city of Chicago, Cook County and the state of Illinois.
1982 - Sidetrack opens under the ownership of Jose "Pepe" Pena and Art Johnston, as a music video bar, a new concept.
1982 to present - sponsor of GAA/MSA/CMSA men and women's sports leagues that include softball, volleyball, bowling, flag football and tennis. Sponsorship includes financial assistance to these sports team so they may participate in their league and use of the bar for fundraising.
1982 to present - encouraged liquor distributors and vendors to contribute to various causes within the LGBT  community. That has resulted in both financial and product contributions of over $1,000,000 to date.
Beneficiaries of those contributions have included GAA/MSA/CMSA; Open Hand; Aids Care Network; Gay Officers Action League; Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays; Dignity/Chicago; Aids Legal Council of Chicago; American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois; Chicago gay Men's Chorus; Asians & Friends -Chicago; Congregation of Chadash; Equality Illinois; Association of Latino Men for Action (ALMA); Center on Halsted; Gerber/Hart Library; Children's Place; Lesbian Community Cancer Project; NAMES Project/Chicago; Pride Youth; Chicago Gender Society; Amigas Latinas; Team Chicago; About Face Theater; Test Positive Aware Network (TPAN); Chicago Area Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce; ACT UP Chicago; Windy City Black Pride; Affinity Community Services and others.

* Information is current as of March 2008.


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