Softball league a family affair

By Kevin Wilson

Some people get a summer job. The Quick family has landed a family business.
Between Lee Quick, his wife Dedra and his two daughters, the Portales Girls Softball League has become what Lee calls a “family operation.”
And the league is keeping the Quicks’ hands full. The league, which Lee is directiing for the second year, has more than 200 players on 16 different teams in three leagues.
“Pretty much every team is full,” he said. “We average a pretty good crowd. We had a few rainouts (last week), but we were able to make them all up Saturday.”
The league runs Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday at the City Softball Park, with three to four games per night. While several of the players will represent Portales at both the Little Custom Classic this weekend and the state USSSA softball tournament July 12 in Alamogordo, the league is not intended as a training facility.
“Basically, the purpose of this league is that it’s a low-cost league,” said Quick. “It’s a summer recreation program that gives kids something to do at a cost they can afford.”
The league entry fee is $20, which includes a team T-shirt and a 10-game regular season. In addition, all teams play in a single-elimination tournament which starts July 1.
Games start at 5 p.m and end anywhere from 9-10 p.m., depending on varying factors. Each game, from pee-wee to junior to senior, is set for six innings or 65 minutes, whichever ends first. To speed up the games, hitters also come to the plate with a 1-1 count.
The league has helped strengthen softball overall, as the teams representing Portales in summer tournaments have their roots in the PGSL. There are five teams entering both the Little Custom Classic and the state tournament: the Diamonds (9 and under), the Outlaws (6 and under), the Mystics (12 and under), the Portales Lady Krew and the P-Ville Pride (both 14 and under).
Players can participate in the league for years, even after high school graduation in rare instances. To be eligible to play this season, a girl must be 18 or under as of Jan. 4, 2003.
Hailey Quick, the older of Lee’s daughters, has two years of eligibility left including this year. She plays first base for the Pros, a senior league team, but most of her time is spent playing the position of concession stand cashier.
Hailey and Kaycee usually man the concession stand in the evenings, while Dedra keeps the scorebook and handles administrative duties. Lee said he mainly works on keeping the fields in operation.
City League has become a second job for Hailey, on top of her 30 hours per week at Subway. Even though she’s become more of a league employee than a player, she still values everything she gets out of the PGSL>
“It’s fun,” Hailey said. “It’s a relaxation period after school. You have fun. You don’t have pressure.”
The league does have some pressure in the end, with the championships in each division. But ask the coaches and players, and they’d say that one week doesn’t determine the entire philosophy of a league.
“What this means to them is a chance to get together and have fun,” said Shannon Gormley, who coaches the Fillies and has been involved with the league for four years. “Of course, there’s the element of a competitive edge … but what we stress is good sportsmanship and fun.”