How We Got Started and Why

Posted by Victoria Eakes on Apr 15 2004 at 05:00PM PDT
The San Jose Women's Softball League (SJWSL), aka the Savoy Women’s Softball League (SWSL) was founded in 2003 by a small set of players who were inspired by the wonderful experience they had playing in a similar league about 50 miles north, the San Francisco Gay Softball League (SFGSL). “It was SO much FUN to play softball in a healthy, positive, social-yet-competitive atmosphere that was free of the negative attitudes that we members of the lesbian, gay, bi and transgendered (LGBT) community face on a day-to-day basis, and surprisingly to some, even in ‘general’ women’s softball leagues” says Tori E., the key founder of the SWSL. In addition to the comfortable atmosphere where one can ‘just be themselves’ without having to fear sneers, jeers and bigotry, the SFGSL offers the opportunity for its teams to earn berths to the annual Gay World Series (GWS) softball tournament, which is sanctioned by the North American Gay Amateur Athletic Alliance (NAGAAA) and held in a different host city each year. Tori continues, “This group of us, Lisa S., Jenny H., Jen B. and I, we wanted to form a San Jose-based team that could have a chance to compete in that tournament. We considered playing in the SFGSL, but we didn’t want to drive 100 miles round-trip on Sundays. We saw a lot of ‘family’ on our ball fields down here so we thought, ‘Let’s not just form a team, let’s form a LEAGUE for other South Bay gals like us. San Jose is a big city. It deserves a gay-friendly women's league and representation at the GWS.’ ” “As we approached players on the South Bay diamonds with the idea, the responses we heard were along the lines of, ‘It’s about time! Count us in!’ and ‘Finally!’ ” So we built it. They came. Here we are. The first pitch was thrown by Miguel M. from our local Silicon Valley Softball League (SVSL) and the catch was received by Maggie W. from the SFGSL at Mise Field in San Jose on April 7th, 2003. Many thanks go to the good folks at the SFGSL and the SVSL who offered us help and inspiration to get off the ground. We couldn’t have done it without them. Also key to our League’s founding is Club Savoy and the many incredible, talented and tireless women who volunteered literally thousands of combined hours to make this League happen. This league is truly a group effort. With the continued cheerful and energetic collaboration of all the League’s players and teams, we will continue to grow and further our mission. GAME ON! ~Tori E. Post-Commissioner and Founder


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