As the Hotlanta Softball League closes out its season this weekend, a new league is emerging to offer gay and non-gay players alike a seven-week schedule kicking off after Labor Day. The Southern Softpaw League, the creation of HSL player Ken DeLeon, comes with a new approach — it will raise funds for local animal charities and highlight pets needing adoption on its website.
“Southern Softpaw League is about bringing the gay, bi, transgender and straight communities together for some good old-fashioned, slow-pitch softball,” says DeLeon, the league’s governor. “But this softball league has a unique twist – we are all animal lovers who want to make a difference for our four-legged friends.”
The league opens play Sept. 12 at Southside Park, the City of Atlanta facility that housed HSL for its 2009 season. The league, which is ready for up to 40 teams, is recruiting players through Aug. 29. Registration fees are $225 per team or $25 per person.
The league offers three divisions to accommodate a variety of skill levels — Super Competitive, Competitive Fun and Just Fun. It’s also seeking sponsorships from businesses and individuals, who receive a variety of benefits based on their level of financial support.