Austin’s’ Gay Community has `League of their Own’

(AUSTIN) – Austin’s gay community will celebrate an important
milestone when eight softball teams begin competing in their own league.

Softball Austin is the newly formed league offering the Central Texas
gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, and transgendered (GLBT) community, along
with its straight alliances, the opportunity to experience and enjoy
recreational softball in a competitive, inclusive environment.

“This is something we’ve dreamed about for a long time,” said Ted
Burton, commissioner of Softball Austin “In 1998, there was one gay
men’s softball team in Austin. A short six years later, we have eight
teams consisting of nearly 100 players. We’re building more than a
softball league, we’re creating community in a positive, affirming
atmosphere where people can feel free to be who exactly who they are,
whether they’re players or fans.”

Burton is coach and founder of the Austin Bat Boys, the team that
beat KVET-AM “The Zone” morning sports jocks in a benefit softball
game in 2003, after radio personality Bucky Godbolt told his
audience `gay men couldn’t play softball.’ Called the “Queer Eye
Softball Challenge” nearly 1,000 screaming GLBT fans witnessed the
game, raising more than $1,500 for a local nonprofit and raising the
profile of gay sports in Austin. “That was when we felt the momentum
building for the creation of our own league,” said Jeremy Wasinger,
league secretary and founder of Austin’s second gay team, the Big Bad
Woofs. “I looked around and realized there was definitely a need and
an audience.”

Softball Austin will play a ten game, six week schedule beginning
Sunday, Oct. 3 at the Kreig Softball Complex on fields 6 and 8. Kreig
fields are located by Longhorn Dam on Pleasant Valley Road north of
East Riverside Dr. Games begin at 1 p.m. and last until 4 p.m.

Travis Co. Sheriff Margo Frasier accepted the league’s invitation to
throw out the ceremonial first pitch before the first game Oct. 3.

Softball Austin is applying for membership with the National American
Gay Amateur Athletic Alliance (NAGAAA). Created in 1977, NAGAAA
currently has 51 gay and lesbian softball leagues in 35 cities in the
United States and Canada. Teams representing these leagues
participate in the NAGAAA Gay Softball World Series (GSWS), hosted
each year in a different member city. In 2004, it the Gay World
Series was played in Dallas.

For more information about Softball Austin, including how to join a
team or game schedules, visit

1 Comment so far

  1. Mary T (unregistered) on October 11th, 2004 @ 7:57 pm

    Yes! An achievement that makes me smile. Congratulations to all who are ensuring that Austin’s diversity continues to enrich us all. A public display of pride helps all groups co-exist in a happy, healthy way. Go Bat Boys!

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