Michigan Mavericks, the Oldest Women’s Senior Softball Team. Kay Oswait, 90-years-old was the coach and Jerry Gawara, at the time was 92-years-old. Kay just passed away three weeks ago after suffering from cancer for 12 years. The Michigan Mavericks are from Garden City, Michigan.
Kay Oswait was born in Brownsville, Pennsylvania. She played fast pitch, modified fast-pitch, and then slow-pitch softball. She was a pitcher, catcher and outfielder. She began playing senior softball in 1989. She was manager and player despite some major health issues. She had a fall in 2007 resulting in a fractured hip and thereafter became the manager of the Mavericks 75+. Kay is one of those pioneers that paved the way for all the younger female players.
Kay wrote about Jerry Gawara – She is now 91-years-old and would still be playing if we had enough players over 80 to play In 1988, Jerry played shortstop in the Women’s Senior Olympics in St. Louis. One of Jerry Opponent wrote, “I had the privilege of playing against her (Jerry) as well as with her. She played various positions but noted for her stamina with her pitching. She was a good hitter. Jerry’s personality is one of graciousness and humbling demeanor. She is competitive, but in a civil way. She cares about others on the team and opponents. Because of Jerry, Judy Lee had the pitching rule changed to allow her to pitch 2 innings, rest, and then come back into the game; plus allowing 12 players on the field for this age group.
Judy Lee Schreiber wrote, “They (Jerry and Kay) are an inspiration to all of us younger ladies and they keep us on our toes because they are not sitting at home twiddling their thumbs.” Kay is the one that always said to me, “NEVER give up on helping the Senior Women to play ball. “ She was my encouragement all of these years. I loved this lady. She is one in a million.”
Below is the Women’s Softball Tournament Schedule for 2015. If you happen to live or happen to be in one of these cities during tournament play, please stop by and cheer them on and welcome them to your city.
Once again it is the season to be thankful. We have had a year of wonderful tournaments with the comradery of all of our old and new found friends in softball that only tournaments can provide.
In 1997 is when I first went to USSSA as the Women’s Director with our Tennessee State USSSA Director Randy Smith is where I met Ridge Hooks, Executive with USSSA at that time. Between Randy, Ridge and Billy Lee Yarbrough they helped me get our first USSSA Senior Women's World Tournament in Nashville, TN in 1998. We had 6 teams and built it from there every year. For twelve years we only had one tournament a year until I went with Ridge Hooks at SPA as the SPA Women's National Director. Ladies and Gentleman we now have 6 tournaments a year, thanks to Mr. Hooks believing in the women's program.
December 9-12th, SPA will have an Executive meeting in Yukon, OK where we will have viable discussions and hopefully solutions to change some things that the coaches talked about at our meeting in Dalton, GA. The Dalton meeting was very successful and all of our Executive Committee was there to hear the Coaches’ giving their great ideas for 2015. So Ladies 2015 will be a great year for all of us. The SPA Staff Members would like to thank each and every team for playing in our Association in years gone by and the many years to come.
We also wish each and every one of you a Merry Christmas and a Very Happy New Year. God Bless Everyone.
I began putting some of my thoughts down on paper and wanted to share them with you. To find out about True Friends, read below. Enjoy…..
“SOFTBALL FRIENDS ARE FOREVER"
Softball is not just a sport where you play a few
games and then you go home.
There is more that comes out of it than
winning or losing.
With softball comes some of the best friends that you will ever
You play on teams together, you laugh together you cry together.
You meet new friends through softball
from other teams too.
It’s a never ending chain.
A real softball friend is one who is there for you on the
field and off the field.
A real softball friend is there to help you with your bumps and bruises.
A real softball friend is there to pick you up after a rough game or
after a great one.
A real softball friend keeps in touch with you after the
season has ended and
for many years to come.
I just wanted to let you all know that you are my real
I will always be there for you and will always keep you in
This is not a chain letter. It is a poem written to let you
all know that someone does care about
you and will
never forget you. Send this to all the
people you consider your real softball friends and when you
get it back you
will know who your real softball friends are,
HOW SLOW PITCH SOFTBALL WAS SET IN MOTION
The earliest known softball game was played in Chicago, Illinois on Thanksgiving Day, 1887. It took place in the Farragut Boat Club at a gathering to hear the outcome of Yale and Harvard football game. When the score was announced and bets were settled, a Yale alumnus threw a boxing glove at a Harvard supporter. Another person grabbed a stick and swung at it. George Hancock called out “Play ball” and the game began, with the boxing glove tightened into a ball, a broom handle serving as a bat. The first contest ended with a score of 41-40. The ball, being soft, was fielded barehanded and thus, the game became softball.