At the 2017 Gilley’s Shield, held in January this year Joan Fraser, a pioneer of our sport in Queensland, was given the honour of throwing the first pitch of the tournament.
In 1947, 70 years ago, Joan was selected in the first Queensland Softball team. Later in the year the team played in the first ever Gilley’s Shield Championship. Two years later she was named in the first Australian Women’s team which competed against New Zealand after the conclusion of that year’s Gilley’s Shield. Joan was involved in coaching and managing Brisbane and Queensland teams for the next 25 years, where she was part of many other firsts.
Joan married Val Fraser, a Souths Rugby League player, had two children; a daughter Carol and a son Alan. When her playing days were over she returned to softball as a Coach or Manager. In 1970 she managed the Queensland U16 Girl’s team at the first ever U16 Australian Championship; in 1976 she did the same with the U19 Women’s team.
Softball Queensland sincerely thanks Joan for her years of service to our great sport. It was an honour to have you out on the diamond once more at the Gilley’s Shield.