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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, September 19 2014 - Volume 42 Issue 38
9 Seattle teams travel to Dallas for Gay Softball World Series - The Emerald City Softball Association's contingent will be one of the largest at the weeklong, 168-team event, which takes place September 22-27
Section One
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9 Seattle teams travel to Dallas for Gay Softball World Series - The Emerald City Softball Association's contingent will be one of the largest at the weeklong, 168-team event, which takes place September 22-27

by Tony Stasiek - Special to the SGN

One of the country's largest Gay sporting events is set for this coming week - and Seattle will be a big part of it.

Nine teams from the Emerald City Softball Association will travel to compete in the North American Gay Amateur Athletic Alliance's Gay Softball World Series, September 22-27 in Dallas. As of September 15, 168 teams from the U.S. and Canada have qualified to take part in the annual tournament.

Seattle's contingent will be one of the largest at the event - and it is the largest in the history of the 35-year-old ECSA, matching 2013's number of teams.

Representing Seattle will be the following teams:

o B Division: Battalion, Dirty Dawgs

o C Division: Browns, Knights, Maulers

o D Division: Fat Cats, Muffin Tops, Xtreme

o Masters Division: Rainiers

'It will be fun to watch the competition and to see how our teams represent the ECSA, the city of Seattle and the state of Washington,' says Frank Pichinini, ECSA commissioner.

The ECSA's World Series teams won their divisions locally or qualified by winning one of the top seeds in a berth tournament this past July, following the ECSA's three-month regular season. One exception: the Rainiers, whose Masters Division is reserved for players ages 50 and older.

Seattle's 2012 Masters Division team, the Strokes, took home a World Series ring two years ago - as did the Seattle Inferno in the D Division. In fact, in the past 10 years, Seattle has earned more Gay Softball World Series titles than all but one city.

Seattle's opponents this year may range from Vancouver, British Columbia, to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and from San Diego to Rhode Island.

Of course, with more than 2,000 athletes descending upon Dallas, there are more to the festivities than softball.

Hot on the heels of Dallas' Gay-pride events this coming weekend, World Series week kicks off on September 22 with opening ceremonies at Annette Strauss Artist Square at Dallas' AT&T Performing Arts Center. Special guests include Dallas-area television personality Dale Hansen, whose commentary on Gay NFL player Michael Sam earlier this year went viral on Facebook and other social media.

Also on the agenda are September 23's GSWS Night Out at Globe Life Park, where Major League Baseball's Texas Rangers will take on the Houston Astros; an annual talent show on September 24 hosted by Seattle's Selma Sue; and closing ceremonies following the championship games on September 27, featuring recording artist Deborah Cox.

The trip doesn't come cheap, with the cost of hotels and airfare alone averaging more than $1,000 per player for the tournament.

Each of Seattle's teams has spent most of the summer raising funds for their week in the Lone Star State.

To support or keep track of the ECSA's teams, check out the league on Facebook - facebook.com/ecsa.opendivision - or find their game scores on mygsws.com, which will be updated in real time as each World Series game concludes.



About the ECSA: The ECSA started in 1980 in Seattle as a group of friends playing ball and has grown to be a welcoming place for LGBTQ and non-LGBTQ players to partake in the competition and spirit of softball. It is now one of the oldest and largest Gay-softball leagues in the nation. It is a member of NAGAAA - which represents more than 10,000 players in 36 member cities in the U.S. and Canada.

To learn more about the ECSA - the Pacific Northwest's largest Gay-softball league - or to speak with players from any of the ECSA's teams, please contact Marketing/Communications Director Tony Stasiek at marcom@seattlegaysoftball.com or visit www.seattlegaysoftball.com.

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