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Writing softball history

I was trying to find something about the Canadian badminton player with whom I share a name, and instead found myself quoted about the history of softball on the International Olympic Committee’s website. The article says I claim softball came to England because of the film “A Touch of Class.” Not at all: softball appears in the film because Americans had brought it to London already!

Nonetheless, it’s always nice to be quoted, especially if they spell one’s name correctly (the IOC does), and this brings back happy memories. I was involved in starting the first UK softball association and co-managed a women’s team called the Artful Dodgers. I was made manager because I was no athlete and certainly no ball thrower–but I did know the rules. We had players from the US and Canadia, Colombia, and Britain, and had a great time in Regents Park, and afterwards in the pub. I saw a photo the other day that reminded me that the pub, the Allsop Arms, actually paid for tshirts for our team.

And why was I looking for my Canadian namesake? Because we’d sent a review copy of our new Berkshire Encyclopedia of World Sport to Brian Coutts, who chooses “Best Reference” for Library Journal every spring. He mentioned in an email that he had looked up western Canadian sports like curling, and that brought to mind the email I once received from a potential badminton author who assumed I was that Canadian champion. Another connection: Brian said our photo of the curling rink was exactly like the one he remembered from his youth. Author Morris Mott, who has written for us for years now, sent that photo at the last minute; how nice to think that it brought back memories for a library colleague now in Kentucky.

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