Spring fields in Philadelphia

CHOCOLATE SAMPLER: Jennifer Lydon (from left), Armando Martinez and Jason LaCorte were all smiles at the finish line in front of the Philadelphia Museum of Art after completing the Hot Chocolate 15K run, raising money for Ronald McDonald House of Philadelphia. Martinez is the manager of The Raven and New Hope Lodge in New Hope. LaCorte is an employee of The Raven and Lydon hosts regular monthly parties there for the trans community. A list of additional unique races can be found at runningintheusa.com and selected events will be highlighted in the summer-outlook sports column. Photo: Scott A. Drake


The milder days of spring and some (occasional) sunny Sundays mean that softball season is upon us, as well as soccer, rugby, dodgeball and a host of other sports. But our Philadelphia softball group is by far and away the largest collection of LGBTs and allies taking a swing at athleticism. Or at least at recreation.


This Sunday, April 12 (weather and grounds permitting), will mark another opening day for the spring/summer season of the City of Brotherly Love Softball League. Organizers expect hundreds at the fields in Fairmount Park that morning to play the season-opening games as well as participate in annual league traditions. The parade of teams to line the base paths, opening ceremonies, the honoring of community members and of course the opening-day pitch are all part of the scheduled celebrations.

The opening-day pitch this year is being tossed out by Tony Iero. He and his partner of 34 years, Paul Myers, were recently one of three couples in a Wall Street Journal piece on the caring of partners with Alzheimer’s Disease. Their poignant story can be found at WSJ.com.

Iero is also one of three players to be nominated for possible inclusion to the North American Gay Amateur Athletic Alliance Hall of Fame. The other two players are Steve Akeret and Brian Wentz. Also, longtime softball players Brandi Fitzgerald and Cathy Harris have been nominated for the Amateur Sports Alliance of North America Hall of Fame. A Philadelphia woman hasn’t made the hall since 2007. The last member to enter the NAGAAA Hall of Fame from Philadelphia was in 1999. Congrats and best of luck on being selected to you all.

Montgomery County Register of Wills D. Bruce Hanes, known best for his issuance of same-sex marriage licenses when it was still not legal statewide, is this year’s recipient of the Community Service Award. Leigh Ronnan gets performance duty this year singing the National Anthem, and expect several election hopefuls to be chatting during the ceremonies and canvassing the crowd before and after the events.

Festivities are scheduled to start around 11 a.m. at Dairy Fields, depending upon when the games leading up to them wrap up. Later in the afternoon, join the players and partners on Camac Street as U Bar, Tavern on Camac and Venture Inn teams share the hosting of the traditional opening-day block party. Drinks, Jell-O shots and games are all part of the recipe for fun. The party officially starts at 4 p.m. It will be a great day to get out and play!

Short Stops

• Stonewall Sports Philly is running a spring pub crawl fundraiser, with I’m From Driftwood and William Way LGBT Community Center as the beneficiaries. For more information, go to the IFD brunch Facebook page: www.facebook.com/events/346987658821981/.

• The next Out Philadelphia Athletic League/Stonewall joint party, Heroes and Villians, is April 18 at Tabu.

• Sports and recreation info can be found inside the back page of the PGN every fourth Friday of the month or at any time at epgn.com.


Spring means playing outside! Whom do you want to play with? Email [email protected].