Following the annual Drag Kickball tournament and festivities during Capital Pride Week in June, our curiosity was piqued on how the Stonewall Kickball-DC League started. Stonewall sports leagues are LGBT friendly and while most team members across the country are LGBT, everyone is welcome. I talked to Martin Espinoza, one of the founders of DC Stonewall Kickball.
Segal: When did the league start?
Espinoza: Mark Gustafson and I began planning the league over the summer of 2010 and introduced the inaugural Sunday season of Stonewall Kickball in the fall of 2010. Our Sunday season started with six teams and 90 players and now has grown to 20 teams and more than 525 players. With this fast jump and high demand, we were able to most recently partner with DC Kickball, offering a Thursday night league now that has over 300 players and 12 teams currently.
Segal: What made you want to start this league?
Espinoza: Mark and I had played in other kickball leagues in DC and realized our teams wanted a less competitive, LGBT-friendly league that could better give back to the community. We had the perfect opportunity to create a new league where we could bring the people together and help raise money for local, LGBT non-profits. Looking for locations, we found Stead Park right off the 17th Street neighborhood [1625 P Street NW] and thought it would be a great fit. We knew we were onto something when JR’s and Cobalt were ready to sponsor and support our venture.
Segal: What separates you all from any of the other sports leagues/kickball leagues in the DC area?
Espinoza: The difference is, our main priority is FUN. We have created an environment for everyone to play, network and have a good time competitive or not. We also are the only social sports league in DC focused raising money for the community with more than $20,000 annually going to The DC Center for the LGBT community and other community-based organizations. The excitement and spirit of the league led us to create Stonewall Sports offering a range of sports with this same interest in FUN and charity. We now offer Stonewall Bocce and soon Dodgeball.
Segal: Funniest moment during/after a kickball game?
Espinoza: One of the funniest moments in kickball was the day a handful of players decided they would wear high heels to the game. Not only was this fun to watch, but also helped spur the idea of a drag kickball game. We later created the Stonewall Kickball DragBall as an annual Capital Pride event with real DC drag queens and Stonewall Kickball players dressed in drag. Last month, our second annual DragBall raised over $11,000 for The DC Center and for Capital Pride.
Segal: Best team name?
Espinoza: That is hard to say, we have so many from My Caucus Enormous, Sit On My Base to Pitches Be Crazy.
From Scott Leibowitz. Find Scott on Twitter @Lebodome. Email him at scott[AT]borderstan.com.
It’s official. Winter is over. Yup, that was way too easy. I think I only wore my winter boots once and, frankly, I definitely did it for the sake of wearing them (knowing my luck, we’ll get 10 inches in mid-April). For those who aren’t sure that our planet’s climate is changing, you obviously live under a rock.
For everyone else in Borderstan, spring means renewal, fresh flowers, and of course, DC kickball (got a new team this season, new offense name, and I am excited). BTW, if you missed it check out In the Lebodome: The Five People You Meet at DC Kickball.
One other spring activity that comes to mind is America’s first pastime, baseball. If you haven’t heard, and judging by last year attendance and the general stature of the team you probably haven’t, our good old Washington Nationals are finally ready to be a team worth mentioning.
They’ve got some pitching, a few bats for the middle of the order, and actual defense. Most importantly, the division seems in flux. With baseball’s new playoff system, there is actually a slim chance that DC could see it’s first-ever October baseball! As someone who watched their inaugural season at RFK for $5 a seat, this is quite a step up. Sure, the Phillies and the newly named Miami Marlins will be good, but this baseball season, anything can happen.
Opening day in DC is April 12 against the Cinncinati Reds but they also have a home exhibition game April 5 against the Boston Red Sox. Tickets are always available, its right on the green line, and the food/drinks are quite tasty/bit pricey. So, dust off your “W” hat, look up Navy Yard on your Metro map app, and get excited because baseball will be back soon.
In case you were curious how the rest of the town is doing…
Capitals, Hockey: Ovi is still Ovi but this team is hanging on the edge between playoffs and going golfing in April. If they do somehow make it, expect a first round blowout to the dominant New York Rangers or Sidney Crosby’s revived Pittsburgh Penguins. On the bright side, Ovi has a humerous March Madness bracket.
Wizards, Basketball: Woof. No doubt that the best basketball team in the district this year was the Georgetown Hoyas. Just read this article from USA Today describing Washington as the place where coaches come to get fired. Quite telling, I thought.
Redskins, Football: DC is already getting excited for their franchise quarterback. And who knows? Maybe with all of the new talent they signed, and Rex Grossman not running the offense, they may compete. As every local fan tells me, they did beat the Super Bowl champion Giants twice last season. I thought this small scandal was a bit strange, unsure how to react. Would love a fresh take on this…
D.C. United, Soccer: Saw this. Trying to get excited. Looking to see a game soon, review to come.
What’s on My Mind
I saw Hunger Games (didn’t read the book) and liked it. As long as this series doesn’t become the next Harry Potter in terms of fandom, I’m looking forward to more movies.
Links! Links! Ice Cold Links!
- The next great foodtruck is coming soon.
- Great “60 Minutes” piece on the best tennis player on Earth, Novak Djokovic
- I had 3 out of 4 Final Four teams, not bad. Enjoy the finals this weekend
From Scott Leibowitz. Find Scott on Twitter @Lebodome.
The groups of people walking the streets with neon color t-shirts. Your favorite bar turned into a flip cup basement party on a Wednesday. Canceling group dinner plans because someone passed out around 8 pm. Most D.C. residents, at one point or another have been a part of or have been affected by a D.C. kickball league.
I am currently in my fourth season on the same team, so I like to think of myself as a veteran. For me, it’s a great group of people enjoying some easy-going nonsense that is later accompanied by a good evening. Over the seasons I have noticed some trends and some general categories of types of players and behaviors. I could have gone further in depth, but if you were to meet a random selection of five players it would probably look something like this: