League Info

HISTORY OF THE TWIN CITIES GOODTIME SOFTBALL LEAGUE


IT ALL BEGAN WITH A SINGLE TEAM

The Twin Cities first openly gay softball team was formed at the Saloon on May 6th, 1979. The team was associated with the Minnesota Gay Athletic Association (MGAA), which had already established the Goodtime bowling league. That summer the team played several charity games including a game against the Minneapolis Police "Blue" Team on July 29th at Parade Stadium. That Sunday, an estimated 400 fans overflowed the bleachers and stretched down the third-base line behind the Saloon bench led in cheers by eight male cheerleaders with green and white pom poms. Another 100 fans sat in the first base bleachers behind the police bench. To almost everyone's surprise the Saloon team won handily. That night the game led local TV news casts and the following day the Minneapolis Tribune reported the event on page one of the metro section under the headline "Gay Team Defeats Police 12-7 in Charity Softball Game." Later that summer the team was invited to the 3rd Gay Softball World Series held in Milwaukee over Labor Day weekend. The Saloon team placed 2nd, losing to Los Angeles in the championship 13-12.


A LEAGUE IS FOUNDED

In January, 1980 the Twin Cities Goodtime Softball League (TCGSL) was established, adopting the name "goodtime" partly because having a good time fit well with the league's mission statement, but also because in those days it wasn't always safe to use that other "g" word. In March of 1980 the fledgling league was accepted as the 7th member of the North American Gay Amateur Athletic Alliance (NAGAAA), the organization responsible for the World Series. TCGSL quickly established itself as a NAGAAA leader, contributing significantly to NAGAAA administrations and competitions.  


THE EARLY YEARS

TCGSL's 9-game maiden season was inaugurated on Sunday, June 1, 1980 at Bassett Creek park in Minneapolis. Four teams representing a social group and three bars participated that first year.

Team Regular Season

Saloon - Spirits 9 - 0

Gay 90's - Bombers 5 - 4

GAMMA - GAMMA 4 - 5

Grand Finale - Flyers 0 - 9


At the end of the regular season the league held its first playoffs. The Saloon won the double-elimination tournament and the right to represent the Twin Cities in that year's World Series.

For its second season in 1981 the league expanded to 7 teams, began publication of a weekly newsletter loaded with team and individual softball stats (since discontinued), and held a successful 16-team tournament over the 4th of July weekend that has since grown into the North Star Classic.

In its third season the league fielded 6 teams, one fewer than the year before, but increased the number of regular season games to twenty. By the end of the 1980s the league had moved its games from Bassett Creek's three overlapping fields to nearby Bryn Mawr Meadows which offered improved playing conditions and room for growth.

From 1981 to 1991 the league fluctuated between 6 and 9 teams, all playing in a single division. During this period the league's dominant team was also a major force on the national Gay softball scene, placing no lower than 5th in the Gay World Series from 1982 through 1990 and bringing home national championships in 1984, 1987 and 1988.


GROWTH

In 1992 the league grew to 10 teams and was divided into competitive and recreational divisions. This change reflected the Gay World Series which in 1988 had expanded to include competitive and recreational divisions. In 1994, after just two 2-division seasons, the league again reconfigured itself into A, B and C divisions. Again the league followed the lead of NAGAAA which had adopted A, B and C divisions for the 1992 Gay World Series. In 1994 the league also inaugurated a short (4-week) recreational fall league. 4 teams participated the first year.

With a 3-division system in place and fall league established TCGSL grew steadily from 15 teams in 1995 to 24 in 2001. In 2002 the league reached 24 teams and was divided into A, B, C and D divisions for the league division playoffs. This tightened competitive levels for the division playoff games, and mirrored the new D division added to the Gay World Series that same season. 


In 2012 the TCGSL reached 38 teams and have consistently sent competitive teams to the World Series and tournaments all around the country. We hope to continue to be one of the most successful and fun softball leagues in the entire country.

 



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