Betty McIlvain was an ASA fast pitch player, playing 1st base in Indianapolis, Indiana. A true southpaw who was born in Indianapolis, Indiana in 1939 and lived in Indian for 27 years. She graduated from the Sacred Heart High School and entered Indiana University.
1954 - Betty started playing organized softball in 1943 at the age of 14 for the Perryettes, coached by Harry Wade. The Perryettes played and hosted the 1954 Indiana Regionals in 1954
1956-56 - Played again for Perryettes.
1957-58-59 Betty played for the Anchorettes sponsored by the Anchor Tool Company. IN
1957 - the Anchorettes won the Metro Tournament beating the Frosch Flamingos Team. Betty went 2 for 3 at the plate. The Anchorettes went on to participate in the Regionals in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. Beating Rohr Jewelers team 4-0 and 5-2 to win the tourney. In the West Coast Regionals, Betty was selected on the All-Region Team. The team then qualified for the 1953 Nationals in Buena Park, CA. At the Nationals, the Anchorettes were asked to play the world famous, Raybestos Brakettes. The game was to be televised. The first time for each team. The Anchorettes lost that game.
1958 –The Anchorettes won the Metro and qualified to the Regionals in Illinois. The Anchorettes finished 3rd.
1959 – Played for Anchorettes in the Regionals ion Indianapolis, IN.
1960 – 1961 Did not play was completing post graduate degree work in Colorado.
1962 – Betty returned to playing softball with the Southeastern Supply Co Team. The Team won the Mid-West Tournament where Betty was voted to the All-Star Team. The team lost to the Frosch Flamingos team for the first time.
1963 – Continued to play for Southeastern Supply Co. Team. The team won the Mid-West Tournament for rival Frosch Flamingos. Betty received the Sportsmanship Award. The team went on to win the Regionals in Oshkosh, Wis. The team come through the losers bracket to win the tourney. The team played a total of 39 innings from 3pm to 12:42 AM. Almost a 10 hour fast pitch marathon. Betty was selected to the All-Regional Team. In the championship game, Betty went 3 for 3 and had a .960 fielding average. The Southeaster Supply Co qualified to the nationals in Stratford, Conn finishing 9th.
1964-65 – Continued playing for Southeastern. Won Mid-west Tourney, Metro Tourney and Runner-up champions at the Regionals Last year playing in Indiana. Moved to Arizona.
1966 – played for the Sun City Saints under coach Ford Hoffman. Went from playing first base in Indiana to the outfield for Saints. Thelma Keith had locked down first. But Betty said she got to play first when Thelma was on the injury reserve list.
She with Bev Dryer Stewart started the Saints. Played 5 years in the outfield. Selected in 1969-70 Pacific Coast League All-Star Teams. Top Hitter in Cactus Regional Tournaments. Retired in 1970.
B. J. was one of the persons responsible for bringing the Sun City Saints into existence. She solicited sponsors, organized special events and parades to increase awareness, and coordinated with the Sun City Merchants Association. She played with the Saints in 1966, 67, 68, 69 and 70. During this time, she was named to the Pacific Coast All-Star Team and served as Secretary of the Pacific Coast Softball League. She also managed the Saints which included uniform acquisition, travel arrangements, ticket sales, printing of programs, liaison to media, field operations, hiring and firing of team support staff. As a testament to her softball skills, she was selected into Indiana Softball Hall of Fame in 1995.
A total of 11 years in Indiana, 5 yrs with the Sun City Saints. Playing 16 yrs in all. Playing in 7 nationals. Betty was a player the loves the game and was a dedicated player, full of determination and dive, outstanding defensive player at 1st base and outfield. She is deserving and should become an Inductee in the ASA Hall of Fame.