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Joan Joyce Biography

An Athletic Family, Softball's Brightest Star For Two Decades, Excelled At Other SportsSELECTED WRITINGS BY JOYCE:


American softball player

In August, 1961, a 21 year-old woman stood on a pitching mound facing recently retired baseball great Ted Williams, who positioned himself at the plate with the same competitiveness and determination as he did during his major league career. An over-capacity crowd at Municipal Stadium in Waterbury, Connecticut, cheered as young softball pitcher Joan Joyce hurled one unhittable softball after another past one of baseball's greatest hitters during the charity exhibition game. In a profile issued by the Waterbury Hall of Fame in 1997, Joyce recalled the incident this way: "I threw to him about 10 minutes. He fouled off one or two pitches, but that's all. He threw his bat down and walked away." Her triumphant face-off with "The Splendid Splinter," repeated in 1968, demonstrated her legendary pitching ability. It remains her best known and favorite achievement in a long and dazzling athletic career.


(With John Anquillare) Winning Softball, Henry Regnery Co., 1975.

Sketch by Carole Manny

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Famous Sports StarsOther Sports