MAASA History

With a lot of vision and one team, the Virginia Outlaws, Tony P. (NAGAAA Hall of Fame, 2006), Michael H. and a small group of supporters launched the Mid-Atlantic Amateur Softball Association in Norfolk, VA, in 1985. Tony P. and Michael H. were the first NAGAAA representatives for our league and spoke for our initial bid to join.

The fledgling league grew quickly in a few years under the leadership of Tony P. (Commissioner first two years), his sister Shirley, Michael H. (Commissioner for four years) and long-time commissioner Tom S. Michael H. played an integral part in writing the original Constitution, with the help of Jerry D. from the Houston league.

At one point, the league counted 14 teams drawing players from across eastern and central Virginia and northeast North Carolina. One of the first new teams in the league was Garage Mechanics, formed in 1986. The team has played as Poison Ivy since 1990.

The same year as Ivy formed, taking 2nd place in the "C" division of the Liberty Bell Classic in Philadelphia, PA, the Virginia Outlaws were continuing to make a name for themselves as a national contender. The Outlaws finished 5th among a field of 24 at the NAGAAA World Series in San Francisco, CA.

The Outlaws continued to win invitational tournaments and take home metal. In 1989, they finished 2nd at the NAGAAA World Series in Atlanta, GA. And, in 1993, the team became the first from a smaller league to win the Big One, capturing the "A" division championship at the World Series in Philadelphia, PA.

By 2001, a new force had emerged within MAASA: The Virginia Cavaliers. The team finished 7th in the "C" division of the 25th annual World Series in San Francisco, CA. A year later, they were undefeated and took the 2002 "C" division championship in Portland, OR.

MAASA's first international foray came in 1998 when Poison Ivy, which played at Gay Games IV, Unity '94, in New York, headed across "the pond" for Gay Games V, Friendship '98, in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Supplemented by pickup players from Germany, Australia, France and the United Kingdom, Ivy won only one of eight games, besting London, but earned accolades for its "internationalism" and good spirit. Especially impressive: The team played despite several language barriers.

Four years later, events played out differently when MAASA players, as part of Team Virginia, were joined by members of Team New York and a handful of pickup players from across the nation to form the USA Patriots.

The team went undefeated and won the Gold Medal in the Mixed division of the Gay Games VI, Under New Skies, in Sydney, Australia.

World Series Championship rings came to Hampton Roads again in 2004. This time it was the Evil Empire that won the "C" division World Series in Dallas, TX.

And the story continues. Another World Series Championship ring came to our small league in 2013. The Virginia Lightning won the "D" division World Series in Washington, D.C. 

In 2015, the "old men" of the Norfolk Master Gunners took the stage at the NAGAAA World Series in Columbus, OH and finished 5th in the Masters Division. Two years later, in 2017, a little older, but more seasoned, the Norfolk Master Gunners took 3rd at the NAGAAA World Series in Portland,OR.

2018 was a banner year for Mid-Atlantic softball. For the first time ever, our league sent 3 teams to the NAGAAA World Series which was held in Tampa, FL. And they took full advantage of the opportunity. All 3 teams made it to the 'Stadium Game" on Friday night. All 3 teams made it to the Championship game on Saturday. When the dust cleared, the Norfolk Gunners were D division champions; Mid-Atlantic Thunder was C division champions; and the Norfolk Master Gunners finished second.

Locally, MAASA has hosted several tournaments. The tournament became the Seaside Showdown and is played during a holiday weekend.

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