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The Best of the Best

By: Cindy Bristow

If you had to pick the 19 very best fastpitch players and coaches of all time, could you do it? Who would you come up with? See if your list matches the one in the new book, The Best of the Best.

Best of the Best...A recipe book for softball success.

Picking any list isn’t easy and usually comes with some disagreement but nobody will dispute the incredible lessons you’ll learn and the amazing stories you’ll read in this brand new book.

A wonderful softball book has been released that details the best of the best in the game of Softball. Written by Bill Plummer and Steve Clarfield this book, apply titled Women’s Fast Pitch Softball Best of the Best, details the 19 best players and coaches to have ever impacted softball. Think about all the hundreds of thousands of people who have played and coached softball over the years and try to imagine the challenge involved with picking just 19.

“This book should be named ‘A Recipe Book for Softball Success’. It is an easy, enjoyable and inspiring read for all who love softball.”
Judi Garman

Bill and Steve, the former Media Director for the ASA and a Ph.D in psychology respectively were up to a good challenge, so fueled by their love of softball they scoured through hundreds of players and coaches before arriving at their final 19. Learn what made these 19 greats such difference makers:

  • Monica Abbott, Tireless Fireballer
  • Shawn Andaya, The Pitcher Who Could
  • Sharron Backus, Dynasty Designer
  • Cindy Bristow, Master Educator
  • Mike Candrea, Softball’s John Wooden
  • Debbie Doom, Winning the Big One
  • Sue Enquist, Softball’s Top Motivator
  • Lisa Fernandez, The Complete Package
  • Jennie Finch, Goodwill Ambassador
  • Judi Garman, First Full-Time College Coach
  • Joan Joyce, The Athlete’s Athlete
  • Stacey Nuveman, Awesome Power
  • Cat Osterman, Strikeout Artist
  • Ralph Raymond, Dean of Women’s Softball
  • Dot Richardson, Dr. Dot
  • Michele Smith, Tenacity & Perseverance
  • Carol Spanks, Grace & Style
  • Natasha Watley, Speed & Inspiration
  • Margie Wright, Senior Stateswoman
  • Plus over 50 additional softball stars
  • To arrive at this elite group of 19 Bill Plummer and Steve Clarfield used the criteria of “difference makers” in the sport of softball. As you can imagine, picking these 19 wasn’t easy. Bill Plummer, who personally knows every single person listed in this book selected the final 19 by how they excelled (as a player or a coach) in college, how they excelled in the ASA, how they excelled in the Olympics, how they excelled at the international level and how they excelled in the women’s pro league.

    In addition to the 19 people that were selected another 58 were highlighted and comprise chapter 20 as an additional group of difference makers.

    This 250 page book has career highlights, a 16-page color section and 39 black and white photos, and centers on three themes for each of the 19 people selected: “Growing Smarter,” “Grace under Pressure” and “Doing Good by Being Good” and how these people thrived to become difference makers in softball.

    Bobby Simpson, owner of Higher Ground and a former Georgia ASA commissioner said “Best of the Best explores the very guts of the game and what it takes to be successful in softball and in life.”

    I am very humbled and honored to have made this list as I truly see myself as someone who simply loves softball but once I started reading my advance copy over the Christmas break I couldn’t put it down. While I’ve known these people for years I learned so many things I didn’t know. The book is written in such an easy to read manner that it pulls you in and makes you feel like you’re sitting in your living room with each of these softball greats.

    Best of the Best...A recipe book for softball success.

    Order a copy and help yourself learn more about what makes the great ones great. Or order a copy for your players and help them learn that other women have grown up loving and struggling with softball just like them. Having role models is important for everyone growing up but much harder for young girls. Help your players discover what it takes to be truly great by ordering your copy of The Best of the Best.



  1. Played against Carol Spanks in 1960 when I was a member of the US Army baseball team in Korea and she was with the Orange County Lionettes.
    This was an exhibition softball game and I had the pleasure of watching Carol at shortstop. Grace and Style nails it. And good looking as well. She was a champion then and still is.

    Comment by Don Grillo — September 24, 2014 @ 3:23 pm

  2. Carol Spanks was and still is The BEST! On and off the field and I was fortunate to have had her as both a teammate as well as my college coach. You witnessed one of softball’s greatest – that’s for sure!

    Comment by Cindy Bristow — September 25, 2014 @ 3:11 pm

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"I am a travel ball coach and director of a fastpitch organization with over 150 kids, ages 8 to 18u. I have only recently come across your softball excellence site and it is very impressive. There is great amount of useful information. I liked it so much I bought your Large Product Package 2. What I like most is you talk about subjects that aren’t covered as much, such as team chemistry and direct, on the field strategies." - JB SLIMP - Club Director ROUND ROCK BLAZE

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