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Back to Section One | Back to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, August 27, 2010 - Volume 38 Issue 35
Seattle teams 'the envy of the tournament' at Gay Softball World Series
Section One
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Seattle teams 'the envy of the tournament' at Gay Softball World Series

by Shaun Knittel - SGN Associate Editor

From August 17-21, the Gay Softball World Series (GSWS) took place in Columbus, Ohio.

This year, according to Emerald City Softball (ECSA) commissioner Jeff Card, the GSWS featured more Open Division teams than ever before - 146 in total - and teams representing 37 different leagues from around the country.

Playing levels range from advanced to beginner and cover four divisions (A, B, C and D), which make up Open Division play. Division placement depends primarily on player ability and overall team ability. Every year, the top team in all divisions wins entry to the GSWS.

This year, the ECSA sent seven teams to the GSWS - tying with Atlanta, Houston, Los Angeles, and San Francisco for the largest delegations in Columbus. Representing Seattle in the B Division were the Dirty Dawgs (R Place), Maulers (Madison Pub), and Vendetta (Purr). The C Division had SIN (Chapel) and Squadron (Julia's/Neighbours), while the D Division had the Avengers and Stealth.

According to Card, Seattle Stealth was awarded the World Series Spirit Award. After a rough 0-3 start, Stealth won their final preliminary game and went on to win their first two double elimination games before losing to the Columbus XXX Threat, the eventual second-place finalist team. The Stealth were the most unlikely of GSWS entrants after finishing with 11 consecutive loses in the ECSA regular season to finish at 4-14 before winning the ECSA World Series Berth Tournament in July - a true Cinderella story.

Card told SGN that although none of the Seattle teams won first place, the Seattle delegation became the "envy of the tournament because of our strong and enthusiastic support of our sister teams. With all divisions playing at a single complex for the first time since 2002, players from the Seattle teams were able to move from field to field to support each other."

On August 21, with all but the SIN eliminated from the tournament, a large crowd gathered to cheer on Seattle's last hope. Card said that the SIN were eventually eliminated by the Oklahoma City Chaos after two extra innings, "but they were cheered as heroes by the nearly 100 Seattle fans watching the game."

"With so many first-time World Series athletes in this year's delegation, I'm especially proud of the outstanding support our players showed for each other," Card told SGN. "We didn't bring home a trophy this year, but our players had an outstanding experience."

Seattle Squadron Team Manager Art Ruiz echoed Card's sentiments. "Although we didn't place near the top, we still had an awesome time," Ruiz told SGN. "We really got to know each other even better, and met some great people from across the country. & I feel that the Squadron represented Seattle in a very positive way, on and off the field."

"I am extremely proud of how Squadron did this year," continued Ruiz. "We won the C Division in Seattle, and traveled to the GSWS. A few of the guys on our team were new to the league this year. They had never experienced what we just did, which made it even more exciting to share this season and World Series with them. We never let a loss get us down, and we never had drama. It's a recreational league, which should be fun for everyone."

"Our players demonstrated yet again what makes our league strong: spirited competition, outstanding sportsmanship, and great camaraderie," Card told SGN. "It's no surprise we have the fourth-biggest league in the country, and that we continue growing every year."

"I'm especially proud of the good will our players generate for Seattle's LGBT community," Card concluded. "We hosted an outstanding World Series in 2008, and our league has a sterling reputation in the Gay softball community."

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