Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Jamie Signs With SCAD

Jamie Gray accepted a scholarship offer and signed to play softball at
the college level in the NAIA Division for The Savannah College of Art
and Design. (SCAD) Majoring in film and television, she aspires to
become a film/television editor. She will make an impact at SCAD on
and off the field. The coaches at SCAD will add her to their roster in
the fall of 2012.

Friday, July 3, 2009

TNT Showcase

Jamie is playing in the TNT showcase in Pennsylvania.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Olympic Fate for Fastpitch Softball in August

Written By: Fastpitch.US

It is crucial to step up efforts to get softball reinstated for 2016! IOC will only vote for two sports to be added to the program! Please read the latest news!

IOC President Rogge confirms the seven sports under consideration for addition to the program for the 2016 Olympics will be reduced to two at the IOC Executive Board meeting in August in Berlin.
Baseball, golf, karate, roller sports, rugby, squash and softball will make presentations in June to the Executive Board ahead of the August decision on which to cut.
""We are going to study carefully the seven applicant sports and out of the seven we are going to propose two sports to the IOC Session," he says. The vote will take place around October 6 at the Session in Copenhagen.
Softball Reacts Positively to IOC Shortlist News
ISF president: "With odds of 2 out of 7 to make shortlist, softball will re-double efforts to communicate incredible value to Olympic Movement"
Plant City, Florida (USA); 30th March 2009: International Softball Federation President Don Porter has pledged to re-double efforts to get softball reinstated to the Olympic Games Programme in 2016 following the news that the International Olympic Committee will shortlist only two sports for the IOC Session vote in Copenhagen in October.
The shortlist news was delivered by IOC President Jacques Rogge last week at SportAccord in Denver where a top BackSoftball campaign team were busy meeting Olympic Family decision-makers and opinion formers.
Mr. Porter said, "While the decision to cut the list to only two sports for a vote by 115 IOC Members was a surprise, it has not deflected the commitment behind, and focus of, our campaign. If anything it has given us further incentive to work even harder at communicating the incredible value that softball offers the Olympic Movement. We are greatly encouraged by the way IOC Members are reacting to how softball would help the Olympic Movement open up women's sport – especially in Muslim countries; they also like our global focus on youth and our 100% doping-free track record.
"But most of all, IOC Members appreciate that the Olympic Games would be the absolute pinnacle of our international competition structure; the whole softball calendar would peak every quadrennial with the Olympic Games. While I cannot comment on other sports, I can tell you that the Olympic Games would not be just another competition in an over-crowded calendar for softball. For millions of softball players around the world the Olympic Games would be the greatest honor and we guarantee that the world's best softball athletes would all commit to performing at the Olympic Games."
Meanwhile the BackSoftball Campaign has moved to their fifth continent in a month with a critical presentation to the Oceania National Olympic Committee Annual Assembly tomorrow in Queenstown, New Zealand. The presentation will be led by Ms. Low Beng Choo, ISF Deputy Secretary General, and Danielle Stewart, a 2008 Olympic softball bronze medalist from Australia. Ms. Low is also the Malaysian Softball Federation President, Softball Confederation of Asia Secretary General, and a member of the IOC Women and Sport Commission.
Softball was first featured in the Summer Olympic Games in Atlanta in 1996 and last year's competition in Beijing, which was won by Japan, was hugely successful with a total attendance close to 180,000 and a continuation of the sport's excellent record of no positive drug tests in major competitions.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Changing Teams

I am now playing for the 16 and under Florida Fury travel softball team. Our schedule for the fall season is:

Oct 18-19 East Coast Showcase in Virginia Beach VA

Oct 25-26 Workout and scrimmage games at Douglas

Nov 1-2 Florida's Finest Showcase in Tampa

Jan 2-4 Winter Signature Showcase in Fort Lauderdale

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

New York Times

This article was printed in the New York Times after Team USA lost to Japan, and had to settle for the Silver medal.

I'll say that being there was a treat and the Japanese team was worthy of victory. Remember, all is not lost for softball lovers around the world.

Just because the Olympics are over, doesn't mean we give up the fight for re-instatement of Olympic Softball for 2016. The work that must be done until the vote is just beginning to process. The Back Softball Campaign must launch into full gear now before the IOC vote.

Perhaps having Japan win the Gold medal will be a wake up call for the IOC members to re-instate the sport we all love so much. Keep posting signatures on my petition. Keep spreading the word. There are so many people who still have no idea what is going on. We must band together. 

Softball is a growing sport world wide! Just look at what my petition has done for creating awareness! Considering my old petition has over 7,000 signatures and this new one has also 3,000, I'd say we are begining to make a difference and you are a part of that difference. Look at the maps on these pages! Look where signatures are coming from! Every where! Thanks to all of you who love this sport as much as me!

Monday, August 25, 2008 Wristbands

Click on the picture to go the Ebay listing. All proceeds go to my efforts to save Olympic softball through my website $2 & free shipping (US).

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Japan defeats the Aussies for second chance at gold

Japan faces another tiebreaker game, against Aussies, and this time come out victorious! It was a 12 inning battle fought well by the Aussies, but in the end they fell to defeat. However, it wasn't a total loss for Australia, as they win the Olympic Bronze medal by defeating Canada earlier in the day. Japan is now getting ready to face the US for a chance to fight for the Olympic Gold medal. :D

USA defeats Japan in tie breaker!!!

Scoreless game all the way to the top of the ninth, in a tie breaker with Natasha Watley on second base. Catlin Lowe gets up to bat to start off the inning with Jessica Mendoza on deck and Chrystal Bustos following. Great excitement in the USA dugout as Lowe rips a single up the middle to score Watley. Mendoza steps up to the plate and gets on by a walk. Bustos is next to bat and on a hitters count (2-1) hits a 3 run home run! USA fans scream and cheer as she jogs around the bases. Japan manages to get out of the inning and score 1 run in the bottom of the ninth, but it was not enough to win the game.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Meeting Brazillian Swim Team!

Click on the picture to see more pictures.

Pictures from the Olympics

Being here in China is a very great experience. I went and watched team USA play China this morning, it was a great game and was a lot of fun to watch. I have taken many pictures and hope you like them. Click on the picture to see more pictures.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Hello from Beijing

Jamie landed in Beijing Saturday to cheer on Team USA. She will see Team USA vs China on Monday.

Jamie Headed To Beijing!

Jamie left for Beijing Friday morning to watch Team USA bring home the Gold. Thanks to Ryan Lieber of WPTV Channel 5 for doing this interview.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Thanks Everyone!!!!

Thanks everyone for the great response to the new petition. Some great comments added there also. Please keep it up. Thanks also to everyone who ordered the wristbands. I hope everyone is getting them on time.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

New Petition Site!

With my other petition site being down now for a week, I have started another petition on another site. Please visit my new petition and sign it today. When the other site comes back online, i will re-post the link. Sorry for any inconvenience this may have caused.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Petition Site

We finally spoke to someone about the petition site. They say it is down for maintenance with no real estimated time it will be back online. Look for a new petition site soon. is down!!!

We are looking into the problem with the petition site. Unfortunately it has been impossible to contact anyone about the site being down. We are presently unable to retrieve the 7000 signatures from there and we are actively looking for a secure alternative to that site. Please be patient while we look further into this problem. If anyone has any information about it, please let us know.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Jamie Catches First Pitch by Jenny Finch

Chicago Bandits Pitcher and Team USA Player, Jenny Finch, was on hand at Sunday's Chicago Bandit's game against Team Canada to throw out the honorary first pitch of the game. Jamie, fully geared by Mizuno, was on hand to catch it! First, Jamie comes out with an oversized glove full of padding to catch the heat! Then when Jenny lobs it over, Jamie makes the catch. Thanks to Jenny for coming out to watch the game, and to the Chicago Bandits staff for providing the opportunity. 

Jamie Meets Team Canada

This past weekend was a very busy one for me. I was in Elgin, Illinois, and met up with the Chicago Bandits and Team Canada. My efforts to spread the word about my petition, and the back softball campaign, have many hopeful for a re-instatement vote by the IOC. 

I met with Team Canada and told them about my petition. The girls are all very nice, and support what I am doing. As stressed by the BackSoftball Task Force Members, it is important to get the message out regarding the pending decisions the IOC will make after the Olympic Games this year. International connection is the key to opening the doors for foreign players to come together to play the sport we love. 

US softball champs try to save Olympic status while defending gold

WASHINGTON (AFP) — Winning a fourth consecutive gold medal is only part of the mission in Beijing for the US Olympic softball team. The American women must also try to rescue their sport from Olympic exile.
International Olympic Committee (IOC) officials voted in 2005 to drop softball and baseball from the Summer Games after Beijing, although both sports are making a bid to have the IOC reconsider the decision.
"We've got two things in mind, win gold and get softball in people's minds," US outfielder Laura Berg said. "There are 128 countries that play the sport. It is important the IOC sees that."
The US women might be victims of their own domination, having won all three Olympic golds with a combined 25-4 record. They went 9-0 in 2004 at Athens, outscoring foes 51-1 and only allowing Australia a late run in the title game.
"We can prove softball should remain in the Olympics if we just go out and play to the best of our ability and win," US pitcher Cat Osterman said. "The biggest thing we can do is show them the best softball they have ever seen."
Some feel the IOC punished baseball for the fact Major League Baseball, hit with recent doping scandals, will not shut down its season to send stars to the Olympics with softball thrown out for being a women's version of the same game.
"It was about baseball," US standout Jessica Mendoza said. "To me that's disrespectful, that they would remove a sport without knowing about it.
"That's where I think the IOC needs to do us right. We don't take steroids. We're not turning down the Olympics to make millions of dollars.
"My challenge is to get the IOC to come and watch a game, look these girls in the eye and tell me this sport should be taken from the Olympics."
Whether IOC members ever bother to go and watch a game, softball has been ejected for London in 2012 and has an uphill fight for a place in 2016 at either Chicago, Tokyo, Madrid or Rio de Janeiro.
US blonde pin-up girl Jennie Finch, a fireball pitcher who became a mother since starring in 2004, hopes for reinstatement thanks to global growth.
"Interest in the game is at an all-time high," Finch said. "More for outside the US, it's important for dreams of girls in places like Croatia and Japan. We look at Beijing as a world-class stage to prove we belong."
Japan, third in Athens and second at the 2006 world championships and 2007 World Cup, could provide the biggest US threat with pitcher Yukiko Ueno, who hurled the first perfect game in Olympic history against China in 2004.
The Japanese also boast outfielder Eri Yamada, nicknamed the "Female Ichiro" for batting success similar to Japan's Ichiro Suzuki, a baseball star for the Seattle Mariners.
The Aussies, with two Olympic bronzes and a silver, are led by Stacey Porter and veteran pitcher Tanya Harding while Canada could challenge behind pitcher Lauren Bay, whose older brother Jason stars for baseball's Pittsburgh Pirates.
China will seek a podium finish after coming fourth at two Olympics and three world tournaments. Venezuela and the Netherlands complete the field.
Article posted at

A member of the women's national softball team signs an autograph as part of the World Softball Day celebration in China last year. (Photo courtesy of China Softball Association)
Today marks the fourth straight year that the International Softball Federation is leading the charge for worldwide celebrations of World Softball Day. In the lead-up to today's special day for the sport, the world governing body has been asking its 130 member federations to make plans for this occasion in their country.
Articles remain available online from the first three years that World Softball Day was celebrated. Check out last year's, as well as what was written in2006, and the story for the first-ever World Softball Day.
June 13 coincides with the date in 1991 that the International Olympic Committee approved women's fast pitch softball as an Olympic sport, effective with the 1996 Summer Games in Atlanta, Georgia (USA).
An article on World Softball Day 2008 will appear in the September-December issue of the Official Publication of the International Softball Federation, World Softball magazine.
As a sneak peek toward that story, the ISF is already aware of plans that had been made for Colombia and Nicaragua. The latter actually began activities last weekend (June 5-8), has another event planned for Sunday (June 15), and has one more tournament scheduled for two weeks from now – all as part of their World Softball Day celebrations. Colombia's efforts are significant as well. Their plans tie-in 2008 marking 50 years of softball in that country. They are issuing a commemorative magazine as a result.
Now that you're on our website and have read this article and since the occasion is falling on a Friday this year, go out now and play ball (or organize or watch or officiate) – it's World Softball Day!

Thursday, June 12, 2008


This Sunday, June 15, Jamie Gray will be accompanying members of Team USA to Chicago Bandits Stadium at Judson University as the Bandits take on Team Canada, as part of a “Tribute to Olympic Softball” by Gray. Gray is featured in documentary about her determination to get Softball back into the Olympics in time for 2016.  A catcher herself, Gray will be on hand to catch the ceremonial first pitch from 2008 Beijing Olympian and Chicago Bandit Vicky Galindo. 

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Gray will be accompanying Team USA to Chicago Bandits Stadium

The Olympic Games are the highest level of competition for any sport, but for women's sports it provides a stage to promote equality and the opportunity to compete in front of the world - helping to build sports for young women across the globe. Currently, there are 8.4 million girls playing softball across the globe (the size of New York City in 2004) and their softball world was damaged when the International Olympic Committee (IOC) chose to keep softball out of the 2012 Olympic Games, by a single vote.
With the future looking bleak for the 8.4 million, one girl decided to change the future. Meet Jamie Gray, a 14 year old from Delray Beach, Fla., with the talent and determination to play softball at its highest level. But, like many girls around the world her dreams were crushed when the IOC voted out softball in 2012 - the first year she'd be eligible to play.

Determined to keep up her dreams, Gray said "Some way, some day, I will represent my country and play fast-pitch softball for Team USA in the Olympics."

Instead of walking the boulevard of broken dreams, Gray took action by petitioning the IOC to prove how popular softball is across the globe. Her website,, has an online petition with over 6,600 signatures to date and has garnered national attention. With help from the International Softball Federation (ISF), who has also made global efforts to increase the popularity of softball, she looks to get softball back into the Olympics by 2016.

After the U.S. Softball team's 14-0 victory over Florida International University at an exhibition game in Hollywood's Osceola Park, Jamie Gray approached the Olympians. She did not rush them with pens, t-shirts and balls for an autograph, but instead she told them they "were playing for girls like me," said Gray. "They need to win and need to help save it [Olympic Softball] because girls like me have a dream of playing in the Olympics."

The greatness of Team USA was partially a cause for the shocking vote by the IOC. The earning of three gold medals in three Olympic competitions (1996, 2000, and 2004) by Team USA was seen as too dominating. The IOC felt this created an unlevel playing field for international competition. The cutting of softball is the first elimination of a sport since 1936 when polo was removed from the Games. Softball as an Olympic sport was born in 1996 and the popularity has grown since.

As it was before the cut, women were significantly underrepresented in the Olympic Games, making up just 4,306 of the 10,568 participants (just 41%) in the 2004 Olympics. With softball, double-trap shooting and the 500m time trial in cycling being removed, there will be126 less opportunities for women in the Olympics. Decreasing opportunities for women in the Olympic Games is inconsistent with the IOC's efforts to increase gender equity in the Olympic Movement.

But, contrary to the IOC votes, the popularity of softball is on the rise. Official reports from Beijing are showing that the Gold Medal rounds have sold out completely for the 2008 Games, and the 28 round robin games are nearly sold out - 90 percent as of April 9, a pace that will sell out the round robin games as well.

The turnout was so great at the 2000 Games in Sydney, Australia that "softball was in the top ten (out of 28 sports) in spectator turnout," reported Bruce Wawrzyniak, ISF Director of Communications, making softball one of the most popular sports at the Games.

"This is particularly rewarding for the world-class athletes that will compete in the softball competition," said ISF President Don Porter. "They've worked hard to get to where they are, and while they go to China knowing the eyes of the world will be upon them, it will be rewarding for them to be able to play in front of a packed stadium. The eight teams that qualified are extremely talented and this can only make for a more competitive and entertaining atmosphere."

The ISF has created a 10-step blueprint plan for getting Softball back into the Olympics. Jamie Gray has been touring the country in hopes of making the goal a reality by helping spread the words of the ISF. The base of the plan includes increasing the world popularity of softball from 8.4 million to 10.5 million by Oct 2009(a 25 percent increase). There is also emphasis on increasing the number of participants in countries throughout the Middle East by giving women and girls an accessible and acceptable route to participating in sports.

The Back Softball campaign is running "in the spirit of fair play and will uphold all the values of Olympism. However, the ISF is mounting this campaign to succeed and not just to take part. The ISF aims to prove that Softball is an asset for the Olympic Movement by meeting and exceeding all criteria used by the IOC to evaluate sports for the Olympic Program of the 2016 Games," reads step 10 of the blueprint.

Re-instating softball as an Olympic Sport is a daunting task for any one, no doubt a challenge for a 14 year old that has fearlessly taken the world of softball on her shoulders. But, Gray's goal of playing in the 2016 Olympics, at the prime age of 22, are to worldly to forget. The IOC will be meeting in 2009, after the Beijing Olympics, to decide on the games that will be included in the 2016 Olympics. With the possibility of Chicago hosting the 2016 Games, Gray is more determined than ever to make Softball an Olympic sport once again.

"We were just one vote short for 2012, let's not be short in 2016! I know that I am just one 14 year old girl with a dream, but I believe with your help, we can make a difference. That difference can make my dream come true," said Gray.

For more information about Jamie Gray and her petition to "Save Olympic Softball" head to

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Jamie meets members of the ISF Task Force Back Softball Campaign

Today I had the wonderful opportunity to meet some of the team members of the International Softball Federation's Task Force for the Back Softball Campaign.
I introduced myself to them and explained what I am trying to do.

They applauded my efforts and stressed that I continue to spread the word about softball being taken out of the Olympic Games for 2012 (to those who may not already know) and encouraged me to direct focus to the Back Softball Campaign.

For those who are unaware, the Back Softball Campaign has been ongoing since the vote of the removal of softball from the Olympic Games for 2012. This task force is providing a direct plan for presentation to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and is enacting steps necessary to prove the accomplishments of softball as a world sport.
The Back Softball Campaign has already had a tremendous positive effect on people world wide.

For instance, fast pitch softball is growing. More international programs are being implemented, causing girls to learn the game at an earlier age. These programs are crucial in developing more athletes, and allowing them to compete at higher levels.

The ISF, and members within the task force, are THE leaders in the progress of getting fast pitch softball re-instated to the Olympics. Because of their efforts, young hopefuls, like me, might have a future chance to play fast pitch softball in future Olympic Games.

Please visit for more details regarding the plan already set in motion.

I thank the ISF President, Don Porter, for allowing me the time to meet with this extraordinary group of inspiring people. I will be working closely with the Back Softball Campaign in the future, and continuing with my online petition.

My online petition is to create awareness, and to help the Back Softball Campaign prove to the IOC, that softball does deserve the chance to once again become an Olympic Sport.

I will remain dedicated to my cause. I will continue to stand up for what I believe in, and for what I deserve. I want the chance for all, Olympic softball, young hopefuls, to represent our home countries, playing the game we love.

Please help me in my quest.

With your help, my dream can come true. 

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

TEAM USA vs Florida Southern

Pictures from my trip to Plant City to see Team USA vs Florida Southern. Team USA won 12-0. I went with my mom and my friend from my travel team Pepper. I got to meet the players and coaches again and get lots of pictures plus we visited the ISF and met with Don Porter the President of the ISF.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

T-Shirts Now Available!
Help spread the word. Click the shirt to go to the store. Shirts are sold at cost. As low as $13.99 plus shipping.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

TSC Original Programming

‘Saving Softball—The Jamie Gray Story’

One Girl’s Fight to Reinstate Softball for the 2016 Olympic Games

Like most teenage softball players, Jamie Gray was devastated to learn that the International Olympic Committee had voted to eliminate her sport from the 2012 Olympic Games.  But unlike the rest, she decided to do something about it. Watch this inspiring true story of a 13-year-old softball player by clicking the icon at left.

Delray Beach girl fights to get Olympic softball reinstated

14-year-old fights to get softball reinstated for the 2016 Games

BY ETHAN J. SKOLNICK | South Florida Sun-Sentinel 
March 12, 2008

Cat Osterman remembered her. Monica Abbott, too. Crystl Bustos, her favorite, gave her a warm hug.

Last Tuesday marked the first time Jamie Gray had seen her heroes in person since October at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, when she first solicited their autographs, participated in their clinic, distributed stickers and familiarized them with her cause. By now, the Delray Beach resident with braces had become a celebrity of sorts herself—Web site creator, video star, screenplay reader.

So after the barnstorming U.S. Softball team beat Florida International University 14-0 in an exhibition at Hollywood's Osceola Park, the 14-year-old catcher felt comfortable making the rounds and her pitches. She told the U.S. coach, Mike Candrea, who also coaches Arizona, that she was his future catcher.

The message for Olympic players?

"I told them that they were playing for girls like me," Gray said. "I told them that they need to win and they need to help save it, because girls like me have a dream of playing in the Olympics."

That currently stands as a dream deferred, and not simply because Gray remains a few years short of eligibility. In 2005, the International Olympic Committee voted to cut baseball and softball starting with the 2012 Olympic program, the first sport eliminations since the removal of polo in 1936. The vote on softball was 52-52, with a majority required for retention—a majority that would have been achieved had American equipment manufacturer Jim Easton not abstained because of his concern about a conflict of interest.

Even tougher to take?

That Team USA's dominance apparently contributed to the disappointing tally. The American squad has cruised to the gold medal in all three Olympic competitions (1996, 2000 and 2004). In 2004, opponents scored a total of one run in seven games. The team, largely intact, is heavily favored to win in Beijing in August.

Gray and her mother, Tammy, will be there, cheering, after having won an Olympic ticket lottery. The irony, however, is that those victories are likely to do little to contribute to softball's reinstatement for the 2016 Games because they may just reinforce the contention of European voters that the sport is too tilted toward the Americans.

The reality is that Gray—and girls like her—may prove even more important to softball than softball is to her.

And, to her, the sport is everything.

Gray also plays soccer, basketball and volleyball at Don Estridge High Tech Middle School in Boca Raton. She has a 175 bowling average and she plans to start running track as well.

Softball, however, is her obsession. In her room, you'll find bobblehead dolls of Major League Baseball players, a framed photo of Red Sox and former Marlins star Mike Lowell and a slew of trophies she's earned playing for the Caloosa Park Crush and other teams. There's also a ball that lost its laces when she smacked it for her first grand slam. In the living room, you'll find a large photo of her, from the first time she wore catcher's gear in a game.

"We were without a catcher, and so I tried it," Gray said. "And right when a girl tried to steal on me, I threw her out, and I was like, 'Oh my God, this is fun!'"

As for the day of that Olympic vote...

Not so much fun.

"I found the information on the Internet, and I couldn't even tell her," said her mother, Tammy. "So I just wrote the Web site on a piece of paper and handed it to her. And she went and looked at it. And she's like, 'No, Mom, no, this is my dream. What can I do? What can I do?'"

Mom was a catcher for her high school softball team. Dad pitched in high school.

"But I was never as good as she is," Tammy Gray said. "I kid you not, when she first started playing baseball at YMCA in Boca, and we had to move her out of the YMCA sports and put her into city ball because we were afraid she was going to hurt someone."

Tammy wanted to help her daughter get softball back into the Olympics for 2016. She asked a friend to design a Web site so Jamie could start a petition.

That petition, on, now has more than 5,200 signatures, including some from athletes abroad. The Web site also links to a six-minute documentary about Jamie on

Many in the softball world know her story. A movie producer recently sent a screenplay titled Fast Pitch, about high school girls playing softball. Jamie, who will attend Park Vista High, deemed it "really cool" that someone sought her opinion.

Nothing would be quite as cool, however, as the reinstatement she seeks. She will be 22 in 2016. The Olympics could be in Chicago, close to where her mother was raised. She wants to be on the field.

What will she do if her cause succeeds?

"I don't know," Jamie said. "Jump for joy, start crying. I'll call everybody, I'll call and be like, 'I did it, I did it, I did it, I did it, I did it!' I'll run outside and scream 'I did it' at the top of my lungs."

The members of Team USA should recognize her voice.

Help Save Olympic Softball

My Story

My name is Jamie Gray. I am a thirteen year old girl who has been dedicated to playing ball since I was five. I learned the basic fundamentals of the game at the Boca Raton YMCA. When I was nine, I joined a recreational ISA fast-pitch softball league in West Boca Raton. What a change that was from Co-Ed baseball! (I loved it..... boys don't cheer!)

After my first season of softball, I tried to go back to playing baseball, and joined the Bucky Dent Baseball summer camp. I played hard and was the only girl on the team! After one week, my coaches named me the MVP of the team, and I was publicly awarded! I beat out "all" the boys my age! It was a great honor.

Then I played my second season of REC league softball. My team was named "Tiger Allie," and was coached by Mike Greenwood. We won the Championship game, and were undefeated in the playoffs! Even though I mostly played in the catcher's position, I am proud to say that I once pitched a one hit/shut out game, and I had 7 home runs during the season! I know my heart is with my "girl" friends, and "fast-pitch softball" is the sport for me.

Travel softball has been tough in the past. I played for the West Boca Diamonds. (10 and younger- B ball) We suffered many losses, but through it all, I never lost sight of my dream. I know that win or lose, I am a team player. My dream is to some day represent my country, and play fast pitch softball for TEAM USA in the World Olympics. I am in training.

A past personal coach, Thomas Macera (first-ever head coach to obtain consecutive national championship titles; - the NAIA National Championship 2004 and the NCAA Division II Championship 2005) told me, "You can do anything, as long as you keep up with practice, work hard on drills and learn." He is a great encourager, motivator, teacher and coach. I look forward to working with him again some day.

With a few prospects for a promising future, I scouted out for a new travel team. I moved up into the 12 year old division, and I knew that finding a team with girls who are as dedicated as I am to this sport would be hard. The talent and competition I have seen at this level has been amazing!
But then the call came through.....

The Caloosa Crush from Boynton Beach, Florida needed a player! I was so excited to try out for the team! Coach Dave and Coach Everett prove to be good leaders and teachers who are strict with positive reinforcement. (just what I need!) I felt I could trust them to guide me, in pursuit of my dream. The girls were friendly and welcomed me. And I knew, with this great combination, I had found my new team!

At first I felt pressure because I thought I had to prove myself and my ability to the team and coaches. I wasn’t playing my best.  But with time, I became more comfortable and relaxed, and my natural ability was able to shine through. Although I am almost the youngest player on the team, I now consider myself one of the strongest players. But that hasn't come easy. I have worked hard and continue to do so every day. I also owe a lot of credit to my coaches who have encouraged and helped me along the way with their great coaching abilities.  As I get older and learn more,  I am also becoming more instinctive. I look forward to all I will be learning this upcoming season playing in the 14U A division. 

Last year I was playing catcher’s position in a 14 and under tournament, (when I was only 12) and I was golden glove, with out a past ball for 4 games! We won the tournament, and when Coach Dave Dishman awarded me a trophy, he called me the “Iron Woman!” I felt so proud to be a part of this team!

We are a GOOD A-team! This past season we won 2 tournaments, and had one second place finish and one 3rd place finish. We finished 5th in the Lake Lytal Florida State A- Division Tournament! We finished 4th in the National FAST tournament. (the only teams we lost to finished first and second in FAST. We were close to winning those games too, only losing by a score of 1-0 in both games!)

This upcoming softball season shows a lot of promise for our team. We are moving up in division from the 12's to the 14's. I just turned 13 the other day, and even though I still qualify to play in the 12 year old division, my team is moving up. And I am going with them! I know that each and every member of the Caloosa Park Crush is dedicated to the sport and gives great effort. We may not always win, but we never give up. I have made friends I hope to keep for a lifetime. I have not lost focus of my dream to play Olympic softball. Even though I was devastated when I read that the IOC decided to remove the games!

It’s been almost two years since I saw Jenny Finch (my idol) on television during the home run derby for MLB. The words she spoke, as she expressed her sorrow for the loss of Olympic softball, went right through me and I shivered. I realized this terrible loss was real. 2012 would have been the first year I could qualify to play.... and now my dream could be shattered!

I asked my mom what could be done to change the minds of the IOC. She suggested that I start a petition to show the interest the world has for this sport. She said I could present this petition to the IOC and maybe, just maybe, they would change their minds. Maybe they could reinstate fast pitch softball for the 2016 Olympics!

So I ask you to sign my petition. Help me to show the IOC our interest. I have been in contact with Don Porter, president of the ISF, and he supports all efforts to reinstating Olympic Softball for 2016.  As a matter of fact, I just received an email from Bruce R. Wawrzyniak, Director of Communications at the ISF, and he has asked me to include a link to the ISF website on my page. They take the lead at returning softball to the Olympics and with all of us showing support to them, we have a chance. The IOC will be meeting in 2009, after the World Olympics, to vote on the games to be included in the 2016 Olympics. We were just one vote short for 2012, let’s not be short in 2016! I know that I am just one 13 year old girl with a dream, but I believe with your help, we can make a difference. That difference can make my dream come true.

With sincerest thanks for your support,
Jamie Gray

Women's Sports Foundation Runs Feature Story Profiling Jamie

Catching a dream

Sabrina Orlov

A hot Sunday afternoon. Bottom of the seventh inning, the bases are loaded and the home team is up one run. Number four hitter is up to bat. They all know her for the home runs that became a legend in the league. Without even looking to the catcher, she points the bat to the pitcher, adding defying pressure to the final moments of the game. The ball comes as a wild pitch, wild enough to pass over the catcher’s head without touching anyone. The runner on third base is going to try to steal home and tie the game as the catcher is running after the ball; she turns and takes a glimpse at the pitcher already reaching home plate. She throws the ball, loses balance and falls with her eyes closed. As she touches the ground she can hear the crowd cheering in excitement for the glorious win. Jamie Gray can’t feel the pain; she can only feel the joy of being 11 years old and winning a game.
The player’s first memories as a child always include a bat or a glove. Her mom used to play softball as a kid and signed her up for beginner’s classes when she was 5 years old at the Boca Raton YMCA. There she learned the basic fundamentals like how to throw, catch and hold the bat.

From that moment on, Jamie’s life was forever tied with softball, leading up to her playing for three different teams, practicing four days a week and playing tournaments almost every weekend.

Jamie stands out from other girls, with her technique, strength to throw a ball, determination and go-getter attitude. She keeps her grades up with hard work, all A’s and B’s, as doing well in school was the only condition her parents imposed for her to play.

IOC Cuts Softball
On July 8 the softball world was stunned by news that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) meeting in Singapore had voted to drop softball and baseball from the venues for the 2012 Olympiad in London. Each of the 28 existing sports was put to a secret vote by the IOC, and baseball and softball failed to receive a majority required to stay on the program. Those were the first sports cut from the summer Games in 69 years. The International Olympic Committee then rejected the five sports wanting to get in and the other 26 sports were retained.

Tammy Gray, Jamie’s mom, was surfing the Web when she read the news. “How could I tell her that? It’s her life, her dream. I just wrote down the name of the Web site and gave to her,” Gray said.

Like many other girls across the country, Jamie started crying as she read the article, and by the end of it her mom was crying as well. When a child asks a mother, “This was my dream, what am I going to do now?” it’s heartbreaking not to have an answer, a quick fix, a kiss on a scratched knee.

But this girl didn’t want to sit around the house waiting; she wanted to do something. She just couldn’t adjust her dreams and decide to be a doctor or a lawyer instead of playing in the 2012 Olympic Games for the U.S. softball team. Being a famous softball player is all she knew and desired with her heart.

Last month Jamie and her mom had the idea of starting a petition Web site, a place where people could leave their signature as a sign of their appreciation for the sport. It was designed to tell a little bit of Jamie’s story and show the IOC that there’s a large interest in softball, not only in the United States, but also across the world.

Jamie is designing T-shirts to improve her campaign and help to put the word out on her fight. “My goal is to get 1 million signatures and get softball reinstated,” she said, sounding mature for her age.

Global Movement
The Gray family is not the only party trying to convince IOC that eliminating softball was a huge mistake. The Women's Sports Foundation is working side by side with other international organizations trying to mobilize the sports community into fighting to reinstate softball in the 2012 Olympic Games.

Women are significantly underrepresented in the Olympic Games, comprising 4,306 or 41% of the 10,568 participants in the last edition. The elimination of softball, double-trap shooting and the 500m time trial in cycling will result in a reduction of 3% or a net loss of 126 opportunities for women. Decreasing opportunities for women in the Olympic Games is inconsistent with the IOC’s efforts to increase gender equity in the Olympic Movement.

Re-establishing softball is a big fight for an 11-year-old to take on fearlessly, but Jamie Gray’s dreams are too big to be left behind. And as her mom always says “You can do anything you want. The sky is the limit.” You go girl!

Softball was voted out of the Olympics

The 117th International Olypmic Committee voted to exclude softball from the World Olympic Program in 2012. According to the Olympic Charter, rule 46, softball will remain on a list, and may be eligible for inclusion in the program for the 2016 World Olympic Games.

Softball will still be a part of the Olympic Games in the 2008 World Program. USA, ISA, and ASA softball affiliates along with the US Olympic Committee are being led by the ISF to show the IOC that there is world interest for this sport.

The birth of softball in the 1996 World Olympic Games was a great accomplishment toward world wide acceptance of Women's team sports. It would be a short-lived life if elimated after the 2008 World Olympic Games, and it would be a tragic event for so many young dreams of participation to be shattered.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Jamie The Weather Girl

Jamie does the weather for the Dragon's Den. Skip to 1:45 to see the weather girl.

Channel 5 Story: Teen Works To Save Softball As Olympic Sport

by: Ryan Lieber & WPTV Staff

An honor student at Don Estridge Middle School, Delray Beach resident Jamie Gray is very involved in sports.

She plays softball, track, soccer and volleyball, but softball is the one sports that she loves more than any other.

She’s not kidding either. Looking at 14 year old’s room tells the story.

Her favorite team is, without a doubt, the USA Softball Team.

So imagine how upset Jamie became when she learned the International Olympic Committee decided softball will no longer be played at the Summer Games after 2008.

As a result Jamie started a petition called

Fans can go online and sign the petition to show support for saving softball at the Olympic Games.

Jamie has nearly six thousand signatures and has been letting her fingers do the talking and will even travel this year to Beijing with her mom to watch the U.S. play in what could be their final Summer Games

Don Estridge Girl's Soccer Semi Finals

Don Estridge defeated Emerald Cove in the Palm Beach County Girl's Soccer semi-finals. Don Estridge tied the game 1-1 late in the second half and it went to penalty kicks to decide the winner. Jamie plays goalie for Don Estridge and is wearing the green shirt in the video. The county championship game will be played Monday at Don Estridge.