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- Betty Evans Grayson - Softball
Betty Evans Grayson reached the highest level of competitive softball while still in high school and had a Hall of Fame career that included pitching for a national champion team and even spending time in a professional league.
Although Evans, who took the name Grayson after marriage to City Commissioner Mark Grayson, started as an outfielder with the Lind and Pomeroy Florists team, coach Erv Lind quickly turned her into a pitcher and she led the team to the 1943 ASA National Tournament prior to her senior year at Portland’s Franklin High. The following summer the team won the tournament with five consecutive shutouts.
Evans played for the Chicago Queens of the National Girls Baseball League in 1949, before returning to Portland.
In her softball career, she finished 456-99 with 51 no-hitters and three perfect games.
Evans Grayson passed away from complications related to breast cancer in 1979 at age 53.
The ASA Oregon region presents the Betty Evans Grayson Memorial Award for athletic, academic and community involvement to a player 16-and-under every two years. She was the third woman inducted to the ASA Hall of Fame in 1959 and inducted to the Oregon Sports Hall of Fame in 1982.
- Margaret Dobson - Softball
Margaret Dobson earned a spot in Oregon’s sports heritage as an elite-level softball player, an administrator at Portland State and even played a role in the development of the Special Olympics.
Dobson joined the Erv Lind Florists team as a teenager and, at age 18, finished the 1950 national tournament with a record .615 batting average. That year she enrolled at Portland’s Vanport College. The college had no softball team, but she earned a letter playing for the baseball team, a feat that received mention in Time magazine.
After earning a degree from the University of Oregon in physical education, she joined the faculty at Portland State in 1955.
After retiring from softball in 1959, Dobson turned toward administration and physical education for disabled children. That effort, aided by numerous other like-minded individuals, including Eunice Kennedy Shriver, helped foster the creation of the Special Olympics.
Dobson co-authored the book “Softball for Girls” with University of Oregon coach Becky Sisley in 1971. She retired from Portland State as executive vice president in 1990.
Dobson was inducted into the ASA Hall of Fame in 1964 and the Oregon Sports Hall of Fame in 1984.
- Erv Lind - Softball (Coaching)
Born in Chicago, in 1906, Erv Lind made a name for himself in the sports world as a sponsor and coach of one of the state’s great amateur teams: softball’s Erv Lind Florists.
A rec-league baseball player into middle age, Lind moved into sponsorship of a softball team in 1937 and quickly realized the potential for his business and his competitive drive. He found and developed 18 All-Americans, led the team to seven ASA national tournaments finals and two titles during the following 28 years. The 1944 team won the national title under the name Lind and Pomeroy due to the partnership with Seley Pomeroy, while the 1964 team won as the Erv Lind Florists just two months prior to his death from a heart attack.
In his 28 years as manager, Lind is credited with a 1,113-324 record and missed just two national tournaments – both due to financial concerns, from 1943 to ‘64.
The Florists moved to the National Softball Congress from 1951-54 and won the championship tournament in ’54 before returning to the ASA ranks. The team traveled to the Far East for six weeks at the invitation of the State Department in 1959. Oregon Sports Hall of Famers Margaret Dobson, Carolyn Fitzwater, Betty Evans Grayson and Jackie Rice were all longtime standouts on the team.
The team folded after his death.
Portland honored Lind with a resolution of thanks in 1963 and named the stadium at Normandale Park after him in 1965. The Erv Lind Award honors the outstanding defensive player at the ASA national tournament each summer.
Lind was inducted to the Oregon Sports Hall of Fame in 1988.
- Jackie Rice - Softball
Jackie Rice pitched for elite-level softball teams for two decades, including the 1964 Erv Lind Florists national champions, before beginning a long career as coach and administrator at Western Oregon University.
As a player, Rice is best known as the star pitcher for the Erv Lind Florists in 1963 and ’64. She took over the primary pitching duties in 1963 after Louise Mazzuca, who pitched the team to the national final in 1959 and ’60, moved to the Whittier Park, Calif., Gold Sox. In the 1964 national tournament, Rice pitched four shutouts and the team won its second championship.
In 1969, she moved to California and pitched the Orange County Lionettes to the 1969 national championship. That team played in the first international championship tournament, losing 1-0 to the host Japanese team in the final.
Following the 1969 season, Rice, who had completed a degree from the University of Oregon in 1962, moved to Western Oregon State College in Monmouth and coached teams in softball, track and field and field hockey.
She was inducted to the ASA Hall of Fame in 1984 and the Oregon Sports Hall of Fame in 1989. She is also a member of the Western Oregon University Hall of Fame and the NAIA District II Hall of Fame.
- Carolyn Fitzwater - Softball
Carolyn Fitzwater played her way into the state’s sports landscape as an infield with the Erv Lind Florists, and continued to a memorable teaching and coaching career.
Born in 1935, Fitzwater graduated from Portland’s Washington High School in 1953, but had already reached the top of the softball world by then. She moved up to the Florist team in 1950 and remained on the roster until the team disbanded following the 1964 season. Fitzwater played a significant role in the infield as second baseman in the 1950s, and shortstop in the ‘60s. She played shortstop on the 1964 National Championship squad, and was selected for the ASA Softball All-Star series in 1963-65. She toured with the team when it visited the Far East in 1959.
Fitzwater continued playing on summer teams in California and Oregon until 1974.
Having earned a degree from Oregon State in 1958, Fitzwater became a teacher at Gresham High the same year and taught until 1990 when she retired. She coached softball teams for most of those years.
In 1979, the Oregon Athletic Coaches Association named her softball coach of the year in honor of her years of service and having led Grant High to the semifinals of the first softball state championships.
Fitzwater served on state, regional and national committees regarding rules and physical education and was a long-time basketball official.
She was inducted to the Oregon Sports Hall of Fame and the ASA Hall of Fame in the same year, 1992.
- Teri Mariani - Softball
Teri has spent more than half her lifetime at Portland State University, as a student, an athlete, an administrator, and as coach. Now in her 31st year on the PSU campus, 27 of those years as softball coach during which time her teams have won 608 games, she is one of the few softball coaches to have coached for more than 25 seasons and currently ranks 14th on the all-time Division II winningest coaches list. Teri has had 9 playoff teams and placed nationally 4 times. In 1991, the Vikings placed third in the nation. Mariani was named West Regional Coach of the Year that season and again in 1992. During her tenure at PSU, she has served the athletics department as associate athletic director, interim athletic director and has had 2 stints as senior woman administrator. A former softball player, Mariani became the youngest person ever to be selected to the Portland Metropolitan Softball Association Hall of Fame for both her playing and coaching contributions to the sport. A Portland native, Mariani is a graduate of St. Mary's Academy and a 1976 graduate of PSU. An outstanding 3-sport athlete at PSU, she helped lead the softball team to the national tournament as captain and also led the volleyball team to consecutive national tournaments, including 2 top-10 finishes. Last April, Mariani was honored with the National Association for Girls and Women in Sports Pathfinder Award, representing the state of Oregon.