The Softball League began in 1977 to provide lesbians and their friends a feminist sports center for social activity in the Pioneer Valley. The league grew from a team, the Lucy B. Stoners, organized by Eileen Stewart out of the South West Women's Center in 1976. The leagues original founders were Jean Grossholtz, Eileen Stewart, Susan Tracy, and Maryann Jennings. In 1977 they fielded six teams, Common Womon, Hot Flashes, Woman Rising, No Nukes of the North, and a team from College Church and from Hatfield. Although during the first two years many young heterosexual women, organized in the Hatfield team and the College Church team in Northampton, were part of the League, they dropped out after several years. The League, under Mary Vasquez's organizing efforts and skills, grew from six teams to sixteen at its height. It continues to this day.
Based on student, faculty and community volunteers oral histories and research, including their own Oral History Research of women in the Mary V. Softball League, VWHC members Jacqueline Castledine and Julie Sandy-Bailey published ""Stop That Rambo Shit ... This is Feminist Softball': Reconsidering Women's Organizing in the Reagan Era and Beyond," in Kathleen A. Laughlin and Jacqueline Castledine, Eds., Breaking the Wave: Women, Their Organizations, and Feminism, 1945-1985 (New York: Taylor & Francis, 2011).
ORAL HISTORY INTERVIEWS in the VWHC collection at SCUA