Recognizing  & Advancing
37 years of Sportsmanship, Teamwork, Leadership, & Pride!


2000 Era

1990 Era

1980 Era

1970 Era

Listed by:

  1. Season joined, or the part of a season joined.
  2. Alphabetical by last name.
RIP is deceased, Rest in Peace.

Jim Vierra

Inductee: Jim Vierra

Member: 1978-1989
Inducted: 2007

An original member of the Esplanade Softball League and a founding member of the Beantown Softball League, Jim served as the 3rd Commissioner of the BSL. He was a driving force behind incorporating the organization, and presided over the initial growth of the BSL beyond a few teams to a sustainable league and healthy organization.

Player (12 yrs), Manager (5 yrs), BSL Commissioner (2 yrs), BSL Founding Member/Organizer ('79-'80), Esplanade Softball League Founding Member/Organizer ('78), Incorporated the BSL ('82 with Gary Staples), NAGAAA Secretary (1 yr), Team Co-sponsor (2 yrs)

Teams: Greenleaf Florists (1st Team, 1yr), Paradise (5 yrs), Fantasy (2 yrs), Bolts (1 yr), Braves(1 yr), Luxor(2 yrs)

2 League Championships: '79 Paradise, '81 Paradise

4 World Series appearances:
Best finishes:
2nd place: '80 Los Angeles, as pick up player Chaps
3rd place: '79 Milwaukee, as player Paradise Café; '81 Toronto, as player Paradise; '89 Atlanta, as manager of Luxor

Tournament appearances (many): Including: Toronto (5 times), Milwaukee, Kansas City, Southern New England, Minuteman Boston
Best finishes:
1st place: '79 Toronto Canada Cup, Boston Pops as pitcher/catcher (Boston's 1st entry in a national/international tournament)
1st place: '87 Toronto, Boston Braves as manager/player (Recreational Division)

Sponsorship: Co-sponsored the "Boston Bolts" in '86 and the "Boston Braves" in '87 when new BSL sponsors could not be found. The following year, '89, he obtained a new League sponsor, Luxor, whose team he played for and managed before retiring.

Jim was a skilled place hitter with the ability to hit to all fields. He was also a highly competitive and clever control pitcher among the first to perfect the 'high arc' pitch. His control allowed him to 'mix it up' and confuse hitters. As a pitcher and manager, Jim led several Championship teams including his last career season of '89 managing his Luxor team to a win of the playoffs and going on to represent the BSL in the "A" division of the World Series in Atlanta. In his second career season of '79, he was among the 11 men who drove to Toronto for Boston's first tournament experience pitching the 'Boston Pops' to the Canada Cup Championship! Jim went on to pitch in very many national tournaments during the 80s for either his own team or as a pick-up for other teams.

Because of Jim's involvement in the 'gay bowling league', he became aware of two groups trying to start a gay softball league; a Joe Leo group & a group from volleyball/basketball (Martin Langer). The two groups had taken out ads in some of the newspapers (Esplanade for one) and had obtained field permits. Jim attended a meeting of the two groups at the gay bar "Twelve Carver" next to the London Baths and downstairs from Herbie's Ramrod Room. They decided to merge their efforts and created 4 teams for the 'Esplanade Softball League' naming it, for publicity purposes, after a popular 'cruise area' and Joe Leo's Esplanade Newspaper.

Jim became enthusiastically involved when the need to create a more formal league organization arose in 1980. He helped; Draft the 1st BSL Constitution & By-Laws, Elect the 1st League Officers, and adopt the "Beantown Softball League" name. As others will tell you, the first years were chaotic because each year brought new challenges and issues requiring meeting after meeting after meeting. However, the effort was well worth it because it built a solid foundation that has enabled the League to be strong today.

Jim was elected as Commissioner in '82 and was the first to be elected to 2 consecutive terms (terms were 1 year then).He gained new sponsors for the league, added teams from Worcester and Providence and welcomed the 1st all-women's team with the thought that it was important for all gay people to work/play together. He strongly encouraged teams to have fundraisers with the goal of the League achieving a more positive financial status. He made it a point to support and attended every fundraiser, including Worcester and Providence and introduced the first "Casino Night" as a League-wide fundraiser. Along with Gary Staples; he began the process that brought about the tax exempt status for the BSL, and began the push to host a Tournament in Boston.

Jim promoted the need to fine tune, through compromise, the Constitution and By-laws for the best interests of the League and worked hard to keep teams and players of all skill levels happy and excited about playing (BSL had only 1 Division). He felt it was important to promote and organize volunteerism among all BSL members to help share responsibilities, so he encouraged and mentored BSL members who went on to serve as league officers. "I felt my role was to coordinate the ideas and values of others rather than form the League to my own "

Jim's experience and reputation as a leader prompted NAAGAA Commissioner Bill Muldoon to appoint Jim as NAGAAA Secretary in 1986. The biggest issue of the day was that straight players in the Gay World Series were perceived as being a threat to the very core of the Association. The majority of the BSL and other Leagues at this time felt strongly that the Gay World Series should not include straight players. The NAGAAA Board agreed and voted to not allow straight players to play in the Gay World Series. But as the stability of NAGAAA and the Leagues became more assured, most cities changed their view on this issue. Also at this time, the entry of a separate Women's Division to the World Series was presented and approved.

Jim dedicated himself and very much of his time to the League because he believed strongly that the BSL benefited the GLBT community by providing it a healthy, athletic, and social alternative to the bar scene. As a teacher in the Boston Public Schools, he decided that the risks of being 'outed' were worth the gains we could make in this community by supporting the BSL. His tireless sacrifices are one of the reasons that the BSL succeeded in its early years, building a strong foundation for today.