Mary Ann “Stretch” Walter

As a young girl from 61st and Rockwell who played her first softball game as an eight year old, Mary Ann Walter became one of the of the top first sackers in the women’s leagues and was an original player on the women’s team with the most championships – Rose & Crown. With her trademark full splits that earned her the nickname “Stretch,” Walter was a consummate team player who led by example. Walter played 12-inch softball while a college student at Chicago Teachers College – South. There she met the friends and coaches who would become the nucleus of Rose & Crown. During Walter’s many years with Rose&Crown, they accumulated a record of 488 wins with only 44 losses and won nine consecutive ASA Metro Championships – which softball experts consider to be the most important tournament in women’s softball. In over forty tournaments they failed to finish either first or second only five times. They won fifteen league championships and have won 28 out of 36 tournaments. A pinch hitter who liked to play the ball over the short center’s head, two of Mary Ann’s favorite memories include winning the MVP honors in 1981 at the OJ’s Tournament and flying home from a cruise after a frantic call from a teammate to play the Angels, their archrivals even though she was sick with the flu. She went 4 of 5 that day to beat the Angels. Mary Ann credits her two coaches Bob Eskew and Joe Caliendo and her Rose & Crown teammates for her many successes in softball. Mary Ann Walter is a Human Resource Manager for Newcor Inc. in Detroit, Michigan.