Atlanta has had a long history of creating community through sport. A number of different sports leagues existed, but Atlanta’s softball scene was especially strong. Organizations and bars created teams that competed against one another. Some played in the city’s “straight” leagues, while many played for the Hotlanta Softball League.
“The ALFA Omegas were the very first and only out-of-the-closet lesbian feminist softball team to play in the city of Atlanta League. In the spirit of feminism, we were a non-competitive team, which meant that if you came to the practices, you played in the games, regardless of skill level, regardless of experience, regardless of athletic ability, regardless if it was a close game I the bottom of the late innings, with a runner in scoring position, and one out. Regardless of that situation, we were a non-competitive softball team, and we did have fun!”
Pici, June 7, 2014
“ALFA wasn’t spelled out (A-L-F-A), but if anyone wanted to know who we were, we would tell them. And if we wanted to be funny, and if someone asked us that we didn’t think needed to know, we would say, “We’re the Atlanta Light Fixtures Association!
Sometimes we would play a team which we’d think almost all the women seemed to be dykes, and we would have a lot of fun because they were trying to be in the closet. And we were shouting things like, “Gimme a D! Gimme a Y! Gimme a K! Dyke! Dyke! Dyke!”
Lorraine Fontana, October 29, 2012
“The Armory was major sports-affiliated. Greg Troia who was the manager of the Armory, created the Hotlanta Softball League. He and David Francis. My favorite bar was The Bar on Peachtree, and so Dennis (who owned the place) said, “Why don’t we do a softball team? And I went, “OK.” And so, the Bar on Peachtree Shooters was my first softball team. That would have been 1986. I played with them for two years and then myself and several members of the team went to play for the Armory.
The Armory had multiple teams. The Armory had probably the most sports of everything: They had Dixie Bowlers, they had a volleyball team, they had a girl’s softball team, and then they had three boys softball teams because they played in divisions.
I joined the Armorettes in 1988. Mr. Copeland, who owned the Armory, he and Jim Marshal who became the manager of the Armory – they decided that they really needed to up the AIDS participation because the Armorettes had always been doing the AIDS fundraisers, and right about 1988, I had played a year with the Armory Angels team and they asked if any of us would like to form the new Armorettes. Several of us had done drag performances for softball fundraisers, and so we said yeah.
For the entire length of my time doing the Armorettes, which went on from 1988-’96, ’97. The thing that was just amazing was they travelled. OMG, they travelled. Whatever city the performed in, they would give them the monies raised.”
Gregg Daugherty, July 27, 2018