NYC Softball

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40 seasons of nothing BUT softball!

League History

In 1975, Phyllis M. Ammirati started the New York Women’s Sports League. The league was the first of its kind in Manhattan, allowing women to play organized softball, at a time when it was very difficult for women to do so.


Throughout the development of the New York Women’s Sports League, Phyllis had the vision to see that women had a very difficult time coming out for softball, or any other sports. She provided the guidance they needed and the respect they deserved. For many years, Phyllis had to fight the attitude that "women belonged in the home and not on a softball diamond." Her fierce determination and quiet perseverance while working with the Parks Department and the community finally gained ground against those who opposed her ideals. She eventually convinced her opponents that women were here to stay and would make valuable contributions to all they encountered.

Phyllis’ vision for women extended far beyond the game of softball. She saw that through softball, or any endeavor, women can develop a sense of independence and camaraderie among themselves, family members, friends, employers -- and even with fans who just stopped by to root for the underdog. The game offered the chance for everyone to change for the better, a chance for people to grow and struggle with his or her dreams and attain new levels of awareness. It was not all fun and games.

When Phyllis obtained use of the Coleman Oval in 1980, there was much hard work to be done. The field was in disrepair, so she banded the women together and started a ground crew to develop and maintain the field. She gave notice to the teams that they must clean up after themselves. She told everyone: "Leave the field in better condition than you find it, so the next player will see our example and do the same."

On February 4, 1991, Phyllis’ sudden death was a shock to us all. Due to her strong leadership and gentle guidance, the league has grown and prospered through the years. Today her beliefs and strong ideals still hold true. Phyllis’ work goes on because of the solid foundation upon which she built the league, and the players and managers who continue to carry on her legacy in the league today.