The Only Ten I SEE: From Tennessee to the Twin Cities, Whisk-E 2.0 at the Gay Softball World Series

Photos courtesy of Earnest Perkins
Photos courtesy of Earnest Perkins

The North American Gay Amateur Athletic Alliance (NAGAAA) Gay Softball World Series is headed to the Twin Cities at the end of August for the 2023 tournament, and the teams are ready for it! The GSWS will take place August 28th-September 2nd, 2023. All of the important information on events, field locations, volunteering opportunities and more, can be found on their website:

Teddy Lee (he/him), coach and player for Knoxville Tennessee team Whisk-E 2.0 is just one of the many excited softballers, headed to the World Series for a week of excitement, comradery, and softball! Teddy Lee finds an incredible amount of joy as the coach and a player for Whisk-E 2.0, and has a lifetime of experience with the sport to back him up. Lee says, “I am very passionate about softball. I get to meet new people all around the USA, and I love being at the fields cheering on other teams, just to be out there living it up, trying to let my freedom shine to be who I wanna be.” Lee has been with Whisk-E 2.0 for two years, and taking his team to the Gay Softball World Series means so much to him. He says, “It means a lot that my team will be participating at the GSWS. This year I will have at least 6 new players who haven’t played in a series before. I am happy for them to go and compete with the best of the best and get to make new friends and experience a fun-filled week of softball.”

Lee’s journey with softball began long before his involvement with the GSWS or even Whisk-E 2.0. He says, “I started playing the game when I moved to Houston, Texas, in 2000… I started out playing ball on the church softball team at Bering UMC. After playing for that team for two years, I decided that I would like to coach a team. My team was the leftovers from recruitment day, and we thought we were awesome.” Then after many more teams, many years of learning and growing, and an entire pandemic, Lee found himself in Knoxville, Tennessee. He explains, “I started out on Knoxville B2B, and after a year went by, I started my own team. We started as a travel team and then decided to play as a team during the season… During the off season, our team started to grow, and we decided to form another team. We were overwhelmed with new players wanting to play and old players coming back to play. We now have Whisk-E Rec, Whisk-E 2.0, and Whiskey D. These three teams are my heart and soul.” Lee adds that he, “wouldn’t have gotten this far without my coaching crew, Nikki Crutcher, Athena Crawford, Darry Fannon, and my bookkeeper, Michelle Crutcher.”

Coach Lee, a seasoned softball pro with twelve previous NAGAAA World Series tournaments under his belt, knows how hard it is to get to this level in the game. He says, “It takes a lot to get to the world series. Before the season starts, we have at least 1 or 2 practices a week leading up to it. This includes playing in different tournaments. We practice as a team, and then we have open practice with our sister teams… we played the whole season as a team, and we won [the E division] as a team. We never let anything get us down. When one player was down, we always jumped in to pick that player back up.”

Whisk-E 2.0 is thrilled to participate in the World Series, of course, but they’re also eager to experience all that the Twin Cities has to offer. Lee says, “I’m looking forward to visiting the Twin Cities this year. Before moving to Knoxville, our Madison team used to travel to Minneapolis to visit and hang out with friends when we weren’t playing ball. I will be traveling down to Madison, Wisconsin to visit family and friends while I am up that way. I am also excited about going to the Twins game while I am there. I love the park that they have. Some of the Knoxville team wants to visit Prince’s home while we are in Minneapolis, and I’m very excited to see that.” 

Lee enjoys the whole experience of Softball. He says, “Softball isn’t just getting on the field to play, It’s about making new friends, and caring about the people you love.” Having a sport that specifically highlights the queer experience is so important. Lee explains, “[Softball] gets me out of the house meeting new people and being who I am while being proud of who I am as a gay man.” Celebrating people of all sexualities is an important part of the NAGAAA Gay Softball World Series. Lee adds, “I am also thankful for the straight allies who play on the teams. As our allies, they often act as ambassadors to the conservative straight community and let them know that gay folks are just folks.”

Don’t miss out on the experience of a lifetime: full of fun, gayness, friendship, and softball! Come out to attend the games and events of the 2023 Gay Softball World Series, and Light up the North in the Twin Cities!

Good luck on your thirteenth World Series, Teddy!

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