Brief History of the Bluff City Sports Softball League
What started as a group of men watching the 1993 Super Bowl at a local watering hole and how it turned into a discussion about putting together a gay softball team is still a mystery.
How many men might be interested? Where would we play? These are a couple of the several questions we all had.
Within 1 month we had decided to play in the Memphis Park Services city league and took the plunge. ‘The Cruisers’ was the original beginning team we started, we battled through the 12 game season and only won 1 game that year. Mid-season we heard about an all gay league in Nashville. What a novel idea that was or so we thought, only to find out that they had been playing for many years prior to our hearing of them. For the following 2 years we had teams drive to Nashville twice a month to play in their league, to try and generate enough interest in Memphis to have our own.
In 1996 Bluff City Sports Association Softball League began, planted its roots with 10 teams. We played our games at Audubon Park then.
In 1998 after ironing out the kinks and getting the league running on all cylinders we applied for membership into the North American Gay Amateur Athletic Alliance commonly referred to as NAGAAA. That organization was founded in 1977 to promote gay and lesbian softball leagues throughout the country. The league sent 2 teams to Atlanta that first year to represent Memphis at the Gay Softball World Series. Since then Memphis teams have played in the Gay Softball World Series tournaments in many different cities across the country, from Ft. Lauderdale to Seattle and many in-between. In 2004 our “Memphis Barflies” won the D Division and also in Phoenix, AZ in 2007 the “Memphis Heat” brought home the Division C championship title.
On the local aspect, the league has always been about having fun, meeting new people and forging friendships that last, as well as playing competitive softball. The league is classified as Open, any number of men or women can play on the team. All skill levels are welcome and encouraged, as our more experienced players help teach newcomers about the game through skills clinics and spending a lot of time on the practice field. From the beginning and as it continues this league has been all about learning to play softball, encouraging each other and having fun together.
The league could not have survived without our team and league sponsors. Those businesses are the ones who spend the money for our entry fees, team jerseys and who show their support year after year. A simple Thank You does not seem like enough sometimes because they are as important to Bluff City Sports Softball League as anyone of the players.
Play Ball Ya’ll