Hall of Fame

Softball Austin Hall of Fame



Ted Burton - 2015

Ted Burton is a founding father of Softball Austin. It was his vision that led to Softball Austin being formed. He started gay softball in Austin in 1998 when he placed an ad in the Austin Chronicle looking for gay softball players to put together a competitive team. His efforts resulted in the first gay team taking the field in May of that year. The team was known as the Bat Boys. Ted and the Bat Boys took the lead in trying to form a second team, doing so by having a table set up at Pride 2001. A few years later, in 2004, Softball Austin was formed as the city's only league for the LGBT community. Ted was the league's first commissioner, serving in the role for four years. During that time Softball Austin saw growth each year. Under his leadership, Softball Austin became a member of NAGAAA in 2005. That same year, his team, the Bat Boys, traveled to San Diego as the first Softball Austin team to participate in the Gay Softball World Series. His vision and work was instrumental in leading to what we enjoy today, a league of our own.



Richard Benavidez - 2015

Richard Benavidez is also an original member of the league and a member of the legendary "Bat Boys" team. Richard was the league's first Assistant Commissioner from 2004 to 2008 and the league's second Commissioner from 2008 to 2010. Richard was asked again to step up for Softball Austin and serve a second term as both Assistant Commissioner (2011-2013) and Commissioner (2013-14). Richard has been both a player and a coach for as long as he has been a part of the league. He is one of the only members of the league to both coach/manage one team and play for another. In the past few years Richard created Pride, a D Division team that went on to finish 2nd at the 2014 NAGAAA World Series. He then expanded Pride to include a C Division team. Richard has spent countless hours in Softball Austin committee meetings and representing Softball Austin nationally at both tournaments and NAGAAA meetings.



Debbie Barrera - 2015

Debbie Barrera was one of the original members of the league, bringing her city league team, The Mullets, to the league in October 2004 and has been part of the league ever since. In addition to The Mullets, Debbie has been part of the Renegades, Rams, Show Us Your Hits and managed Sofa King Good. During her years as a Softball Austin member Debbie has not stopped at just playing and managing. Debbie has served on the Board of Softball Austin throughout the years as Secretary (2005-07) Public Relations Coordinator (2007-10) and Membership Coordinator (2011-2015). Her work over the years has helped expand the membership of Softball Austin from approximately 9 teams and 100 members in 2004 to over 450 members today. Debbie has also participated on a number of committees throughout the years, including the Texas Shootout Committee. She also represented the league by traveling to numerous NAGAAA and ASANA tournaments across the country.



Cat Eastmond - 2016

Cat moved to Austin in 2005 from Detroit, Michigan, and joined Softball Austin, first playing on a D division team named the "Closers", and later founding the Love Monkeys, first an open division team in 2007, and later an inaugural women's division team in 2012. She has served as Softball Austin's delegate to the ASANA organization since 2010, representing Austin as a member of ASANA's ethics and IOG committee. Recently, she accepted the role as the first women's division commissioner for Softball Austin, and successfully bid for a 2017 ASANA World Series in Austin.



Albert Rodriguez - 2016

Albert Rodriguez is the Commissioner of Softball Austin. Albert was part of the original bid committee to help secure the 2016 Gay Softball World Series for Austin. Albert has been involved with Softball Austin since 2008 as a fan, manager, Texas Shootout Tournament Director, Softball Austin Competition Coordinator and Softball Austin Commissioner. Under the direction of Albert, the Texas Shootout Tournament has grown from 52 teams to a record 68 teams. The Texas Shootout is now the largest LGBT Softball Tournament in Texas and the region. Seeing the growth and opportunity, Albert helped separate the Texas Shootout into two tournaments with the Women's division enjoying their own tournament weekend. Given his experience with the Texas Shootout Tournament and having first hand knowledge as a fan, coach and manager on several GSWS World Series teams, Albert serves as an Advisor to the 2016 Gay Softball World Series.



Rich Segal - 2016

Rich Segal has been a member of Softball Austin since the 2005 spring season. His tenure on the Softball Austin Board began in 2007 as secretary-treasurer before moving to being secretary in 2009. He served as secretary until 2010, then returned in 2011 and remained the league's secretary until 2013 when he successfully ran to be the league's Assistant Commissioner. He continues in that role today. Among the things he's most proudest of is securing the league's first non-profit status, the continued work in streamlining the league's Instruments of Governance, and, most importantly, the continued growth of the league. Rich has been a member of B Division teams Bat Boys (2005 to 2009), Marvels (2014), and, most recently, the Hot Flash. He has always served in the roles of base coach and scorebook manager. Rich has been to all eleven GSWS since he joined the league whether with his team or to assist another Austin team doing its scorebook and/or base coaching. Rich also serves as an Advisor for the 2016 GSWS being held in Austin in August.



Norman Coopee - 2017

Norman has been part of Softball Austin since Spring of 2008, when the Polar Bears softball team was created. Playing as a second baseman, he quickly found out that playing softball was not his forte, but didn't want to leave this fine organization of friends. After three seasons of being a player, the opportunity to become the manager of the Polar Bears was available, and he quickly jumped into those shoes, leaving his cleats behind. He has been managing the team ever since. Norman also served on the Board of Directors as Competition Coordinator for 2 years, several Texas Shootout Committees, and most recently, as the Hospitality Director for the 2016 GSWS here in Austin. He has been with his team to 4 World Series, in Milwaukee, Minneapolis, Columbus, and Austin, and many out of town tournaments in Las Vegas, Houston, Dallas, and New Orleans.



Ram Rangel - 2017

Ram Rangel is not only an original member of Softball Austin but he is also a member of Austin's first gay softball team that pre-dated the league. He played on the team that trounced a local radio station, 11 to 4, in a charity game known more as a game to see if the gay community could actually field a team that could compete. He has been competing in our league for 13 years. He left Austin briefly in 2008-09 for a job in Houston. Thankfully, he came back. The then-third baseman played for the Austin Bat Boys. He was on the very first team Austin sent to the Gay Softball World Series in 2005. The team traveled to San Diego and actually won a game, 5 to 4, over a team from Phoenix. But he himself had been to a GSWS the previous year playing for the Houston Bucks who placed 5th in the B division. That team went the Dallas GSWS where Ram discovered just how big the GSWS is but more how welcoming how welcoming the players were ... and still are. He would play for and attend World Series for the Bat Boys in 2006 (Ft. Lauderdale), 2007 (Phoenix), and 2008 (Seattle). His willingness to see the league grow can be seen in his starting teams and recruiting new players for them. In 2005 he started the Austin Closers of the D Division. The next year he brought another D team into the league, the Austin Power. His first C team was formed in 2007 when the Austin Rams started. He helped lead that squad to a win in the Houston Lone Star Classic. In 2010 he helped start the Austin Stealth of the C Division. That team would go on to finish in second place in Austin's Texas Shootout. Ram has been a staunch supporter of the league for the many years he has been a member. One of his strongest attributes is his ability to watch a player and provide feedback on his/her rating. His knowledge in this area makes him one of the first members sought out when a player's rating might be in question. He has served on the Ratings Committee when asked. He has also served on the league's Ethics Committee. In short, he is always willing to help his league when the league needs him to do so. Perhaps the crowning achievement in his time with Softball Austin came in 2015 when the GSWS was held in Columbus, OH. Up to that time only one Austin team had ever won a GSWS. After the Columbus series the number doubled as Ram led his Austin Outlaws to the C Division Championship. He and his team had an amazing run winning nine of the ten games they played ... the other game, in pool play, ending in a tie. His ability as a player combined with his dedication to his teams and league and his advocacy for Softball Austin make Ram Rangel a Hall-of-Famer.



Arthur Allert - 2017

Arthur was an original member of Austin's first gay softball team, the Bat Boys, in 1998. He worked to recruit additional players and teams and coordinated efforts with the city to create the first gay division of five teams in Austin City League in 2004. He served as interim assistant commissioner and coordinated operational efforts for the new division and league including Austin's first representative at a NAGAAA and writing the articles of incorporation and was an instrumental figure in the creation of Softball Austin. Arthur has played in at least one season every year since 1998 on the Bat Boys, Shockers, Wranglers, Rams, Whackers, Chaos and Bat Boys 5.0 where he also served as either coach or co-coach as well as playing. He has been a part of multiple division winners and tournament champions as well as team MVP twice and currently is one of only two players in the league over 60 to be actively playing.



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