From its humble beginnings, the Amateur Softball Association (ASA) of America and USA Softball has become one of the nation’s leading sports organizations. As the association celebrates its past 80 years in 2013, numerous individuals have helped make ASA/USA Softball the nation’s foremost softball organization. Here, we salute those who played a vital role in the fourth decade of ASA/USA Softball’s history.
Milestones: In 1965, Oklahoma City was named the new ASA National headquarters. Also, the first International Softball Federation (ISF) Women’s World Championship was held in Melbourne, Australia with the U.S. taking second place. The first ISF Men’s World Championship was held the following year in Mexico City, Mexico with the U.S. winning the title.
Great Players of the Era: During Joan Joyce’s career with the Orange Lionettes and the Raybestos Brakettes, she was named to 18 consecutive ASA All-American teams. She was also named National Tournament MVP eight times. Her 507-33 record included 126 no-hitters. Weldon Haney of the Clearwater Bombers was National Tournament MVP in 1962, ’63 and ’68. In the 1968 National Championship, Haney became only the second man in history to pitch a perfect game in an ASA Men’s Major Fast Pitch National Championship. Jim Galloway played slow pitch from 1946-80 and was named to eight All-American teams. He led the 1966 Nationals in home runs with 11. In 10 National Championships, he hit 74 homeruns and drove in 162 runs. In 1968, he was a National Championship with County Sports.
Teams to Remember: In women’s slow pitch, Dana Gardens (Cincinnati, Ohio) took three-in-a-row from 1962-64 and a fourth in 1966 to pose as the only multiple wins in that division of play. Women’s fast pitch was dominated in the 60s by three legendary teams. The Raybestos Brakettes (Stratford, Conn.) won in 1961, ’63, ’66 and ’68; the Orange Lionettes (Orange, Calif.) in 1962, ’65 and ’69 and the Erv Lind Florists (Portland, Ore.) in 1964. The Clearwater Bombers (Clearwater, Fla.) won the men’s fast pitch title in 1960, ’62, ’63, ’66 and ’68. The Sealmasters (Aurora, Ill.) were National Champions in 1961, ’65 and ’67. Skip Hogan A.C. (Pittsburgh, Penn.) was the only men’s slow pitch multiple National Championship title winner, taking the title in 1962, ’64 and ’65.
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