Tag Archives: Isabel Alvarez

Dottie Collins Honorary Golf Outing

Isabel Alvarez kindly sent me some information about the Dottie Collins Honorary Golf Outing the other day. The outing will take place on Friday, August 15th at Brookwood Golf Course and proceeds from the event go to the benefit of the Alzheimer’s Association and is being presented by Regency Place of Fort Wayne and Meadowvale Health and Rehab.

The event brochure and registration form is available here.

Dottie Wiltse Collins

When Women Played HardballDottie was born on September 23, 1923 and became a star softball player in the late 30’s. With the men off fighting WWII, Chicago Cubs owner Phillip Wrigley developed the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League (AAGPBL) to ensure that baseball would continue in the states. Dottie joined the league and became a 20 game winner as a right-handed pitcher in 4 out the 6 seasons she played.

She was marked as one of the league’s premier pitchers with a .608 winning percentage and lifetime 1.83 ERA. Dottie played for Minneapolis for one season and then came to Fort Wayne to play the remainder of her career for the Fort Wayne Daisies.

Dottie also accomplished a lot off the mound as well. Her husband, Harvey, taught her how to golf. She was the Fort Wayne City Champ in 1971 and was runner – up five other times. She helped organize youth golf and bowling leagues at the Elks Country Club. In 1988, she helped organize a reunion in Cooperstown that led to the movie “A League of Their Own”.

In 1999, Dottie was inducted into the Northeast Indiana Baseball Association (NEIBA) Hall of Fame. She was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease about 5 years ago. Dottie was quoted in the book, Dottie Wiltse Collins: Strikeout Queen of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League as saying her favorite memory of the league was:

“the people we met, including the fans, and the lifelong friendships that were created.”

Alzheimer’s Association

Our Mission is to eliminate Alzheimer’s disease through the advancement of research; to provide and enhance care and support for all affected; and to reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health.

Allen County
Amanda DeLong
260.241.6188 phone; 260.486.5866 fax

Wells County
Kali Giggy
260.224.1447 phone; 260.824.4689 fax

UPDATE: Blake Sebring has a nice piece on the outing in the August 8th News-Sentinel.

Isabel Alvarez to Be Subject of Book

A little over a year ago, I was a newly published author who was going to my first professional book signing at Barnes & Noble (in Jefferson Pointe). I had my ideas about what to expect, and everything pretty much went that way until the unexpected happened.

ISabel AlvarezAbout half way through, a friendly-faced woman who was wearing an AAGPBL  sweatshirt emerged from beyond a series of bookshelves at the store much the same way Shoeless Joe Jackson (ably played by Ray Liotta) emerges from the corn husks in Field of Dreams. One of Isabel Alvarez’s former GE co-workers had informed me earlier in the day that she might be coming, so I was pretty certain who the woman was.

She was very soft spoken but we quickly struck up a conversation and she stayed for pretty much the remainder of the signing as we talked about baseball, Fort Wayne, her times with the Daisies and more. She also kindly signed next to her picture for folks who purchased the book.

It was a great experience indeed. Since that time, I have had the great fortune to talk with Isabel more and have found that first impression to be accurate. And, her passion for baseball and the AAGPBL in particular is apparent within just a few moments of meeting her and you can’t help but be reminded of this fact every time you see her.

This past spring, Isabel was honored by the Northeast Indiana Baseball Assocation (NEIBA) with the Bob Parker Memorial Award. Not only was she deserving, but she was truly humbled by an honor she never expected to receive. No offense to the other honorees, inductees, the emcee or keynote speaker Tony Richards, but her acceptance of the award was among the most memorable moments of that night in my mind.

It brought a smile to my face to see her handing out autographed baseball cards to those in attendance – because they were going faster than she cold hand them out. And, even though I had her autograph in my own book already, I had to get a card too. 🙂

Today, she sent me a link to an article in the News-Sentinel about a book that is being written about her life and baseball career. It was with much joy for her that I read the article as it detailed more.

But however much Alvarez’s past and present contributions to baseball are commemorated, she credits the game itself for the majority of opportunities she’s had in her life” exactly the point author Kathy Williams plans to touch upon in a book chronicling Alvarez’s life.

Right now, the book is tentatively titled “Life After the League: From La Tilla del Cerro to All-American. It likely will recount Alvarez’s family life in Cuba to her days as a professional baseball player in America and life after the league. The book is scheduled for publication by the end of the year.

It’s definitely one I am looking forward to reading.  Congrats again Isabel!

NEIBA HOF Banquet – May 17th – Get Your Tickets!!!

The Northeast Indiana Baseball Association (NEIBA) will host its annual Hall of Fame Awards Banquet on Saturday, May 17, 2008 at the Allen County Public Library at 6:30PM. Fort Wayne native and popular local radio personality, Tony Richards will serve as this year’s keynote speaker. NEIBA Board member and Fort Wayne Wizards Public Address Announcer, Jim Shovlin takes on duties as this year’s emcee.

In addition to a change of venue, this year’s evening will include a dinner, door prizes and the induction of three new members of the local Hall of Fame. This year’s inductees include Doug Bair, Dick Crumback and Bill Derbyshire. Ella Hardiek and Isabel Alvarez will receive this year’s Colin Lister Award and Bob Parker Memorial awards respectively.

Tickets are $25 per person. Visit NEIBA.org for more info. Contact me if you are interested in attending.