Myrtle B is a woman who works hard and plays hard. Given an incredible opportunity to learn Softball from her Father, she would play the sport non-stop from a young age all the way through High School! She was one of the fastest Women’s Softball pitchers of her school and, eventually through recognition, Myrtle would go onto to keep command of her diamond for years to come. Read Myrtle B’s story here, exclusively on The Living Legacies…
As told by Nicole Thode…
Take Me Out To The Ball Game!
Myrtle Jane S. stared at the ball clutched in her father’s hand. She was six years old, and she always wanted to learn how to play softball like her father so talentedly performs. She smiled hugely and grabbed the offered ball and mitten and ran a few feet from her father. They played softball for weeks during the summer as Myrtle felt determined to show her friends in school the new sport. Fall finally hit, and Myrtle gathered all of her friends and taught them softball during recess. Her teacher, who knew the game, started coaching them.
Getting All The Bases Covered
Within weeks Myrtle’s team was ready for tournaments. Myrtle played with her classmates and competed as a pitcher with the neighboring schools until she had graduated high school. Myrtles fasted pitching speed was 108 miles per hour, and she never lost a game. Colleges weren’t interested in women softball, so Myrtle didn’t think she had a shot at softball as an adult. In eleventh grade, Myrtle remembers her coach asking her if she ever considered umpiring. It wasn’t until Myrtle was older that she considered it.
Put Me In Coach
She was a recent widow, and her children were young. She was worried they wouldn’t have a chance to go to college. Myrtle, by fate, saw a posting in the newspaper about a softball tryout at Mott College open to the public. Myrtle, excited at the chance to play her beloved sport, showed up to tryouts and realized she was the only female. This didn’t deter her in the slightest while she took on the challenge. The coach of the team, a refined older man, was impressed with Myrtle’s tryout and gave her the chance to umpire a couple of nights a week with the men’s team as he considered her.
Protecting Her Plate
Myrtle did this for two nights a week for about three weeks until her coach promised her a spot on the umpiring team, telling her she knew more about softball than any other man that was on the team. Myrtle was the first female umpire for male games, and she had no trouble with what came with the title. Myrtle is a strong, strict, no-nonsense woman. She knew the rules and there was no arguing. She recalled the time two men on opposite teams were bickering on the base, she warned them about their childish antics. They continued, and Myrtle kicked them out of the game. Myrtle knew the rules and didn’t play with them.
Coaching Success For Generations to Come!
Myrtle umpired for many years and taught her own children how to play. Three of her daughters played softball on teams; One was a pitcher, one an outfielder and one a catcher. Myrtle would go on to become the Secretary, President, and then eventually Chief of the softball association. She also educated players too. If a player wasn’t well versed in the yearly rules of the game, she did not let them play.