A Softball Great
Rival pitcher Charlotte Graham, who played against Joyce in the professional league, told Joe Jares of Sports Illustrated in 1976, "She's a fantastic lady. She's my idol. I've watched her closely for 10 years. She's truly the best player women's softball has ever had." In Great Women Athletes of the 20th Century, writer Robert Condon agreed, calling her "the finest women's softball player of all time." Her dominating presence inspired awe and helped lay the foundation for the sport's future.
Joyce enjoyed great acclaim for more than 20 years of softball playing, but her well known match-ups with Ted Williams stay with her. Williams was quoted by Tom Yantz in The Hartford Courant as declaring, "Joan Joyce was a tremendous pitcher, as talented as anyone who ever played." Joyce is surprised about the lingering fame, telling Yantz in 1999, "It's amazing. I've been in airports, hotels all over the world. It doesn't matter where, but people will come up to me and say, 'You struck out Ted Williams. I was there.'"