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Corning Cinderella Softball

Corning Cinderella Softball


To most people, Cinderella is a fairy tale; but to thousands of girls it's an organized softball league.  

 Below is just a glimpse of how it all started.  Stay tuned for photos and more details!!! 

 Our Cinderella story is a true one and began here in Corning, New York in 1958 when four mothers organized a softball league for girls.  The founders of the Cinderella League are:  Martha Elliott, Shirley Hitchesn, Patricia Mitchell and Carol Zaun. 

1958.     Shirley Hitchen's nine year old daughter Valerie was the inspriation behind the original league.  Valerie had five brothers and couldn't understand why she couldn't play too.  Her mother decided she shold have the same opportunity for athletic activity as her brothers and enlisted the help of three freidns to form the first Cinderella Softball League in 1958 for grils ages 9- 13 for the purpose of promoting and organizing softball leagues for girls.

The original uniform consisted of white jerrsey shirts, matching knee socks and caps and contrasting Bermuda shorts.  Games were originally played at the Corning National Little League field by Dennison Park.  The original sponsors that first year were Kiwanis, Alwards, Dann's Dairy, and Ken & Elsies.

1959.     The first commissioner fo the league, Rev. Arthur Forsberg of Emanuel Lutheran Church was elected and another four teams were added to the league.

1960.     The league split into the American and National division and was again enlarged with the addition of four teams. The first Cinderella emblem was designed by Marianne Nordlie and patented in 1960.

The Cinderella Pledge was also composed by Mary Alice Swan and adopted in 1960:

"We pledge ourselves as members of Cinderella Softball to exemplify good sportsmanship in all we do for the good our league, our community and our country.

We promise to do our best to improve our personal , mental and physical abilities, to become better prepared for the demands of maturity." 

1962.     The first annual Cinderella World Series was held with six All-Star teams participating:  Corning American, Corning National, Horseheads, Horseheads American, Erwin Valley and Big Flats.  The champions of the first Cinderella World Series was the Corning National team.

Since that time, leagues have been franchised in many states, the Virgin Islands and Canada.  Leagues are orgnized and governed  at the local level with assistance and guidance fromt he National Board of Cinderella Softball.  At the end of regular season play, each franchised league is encouraged to participate in their area playoffs for a berth in the Cinderella World Series held annually here in Corning, New York.

1963.     The first National Board of the Directors was led by Commissioner Joe Lesso.

The value of Cinderella Softball was officially recognized then the program was recommended by the late President Kennedy's Council on Youth Physical Fitness.

Also, in 1963, the First Cinderella Queen Contest was held.  Contestants each did presentations on "What Cinderella Softball Means to Me."  Linda Dickerson of Ithaca was chosen as the first Cinderella Queen.

1970.      The National Baseball Hall of Fame accepted an insignia patch and history of the league for their Hall of Fame library in Copperstown, New York.

1974.      Mayor Joeseph Nasser and Cinderella President, George Huffsmith opened the new softball complex on Baker Street.  The Princess Division, founded by "Liz" Farr, also had its first series that year.  Also in 1974, President Gerald Ford invited the Cinderella World Series Champions, the Corning American League All-Stars to the White House.  Corning defeated Poughkeepsie 7-4 to the win the series.

1977.      On February 27th, Valerie Hitchens was elected into the Corning Painted Post Sports Hall of Fame at their annual banquet at the Lodge on the Green in Painted Post.

1981.     The Prep Division had its first series in 1981.

1982.  Cinderella Softball received a state grant, thanks to Assemblyman Randy Kuhl.  The grant money was used to build Field 2 and install lights for night games.

1985.     On July 10th, Field 1 was dedicated to Everett "Bucky" Wainwrights for his many years of dedication and service to Cinderella Softball.  Bucky served as President of the National Cinderella Board in addition to presiding over the Beaver Dams-Monterey-Townsend League.  He was also the founder of the Prep Division which made it's start in 1981.

President Ronald Reagan wrote, "The quantity and quality of girls' sports have improved dramatically in recent years, and many of the gains are due to programs such as cCinderella Softball.  By offering early opportunities for instruction and competition, our youth leagues lift both the skill and popularity levels of sports."

2006.     The National and American leagues merged together.  Corning National now runs league play at the Baker Street Complex for approximately 260 local girls through the end of June.  They are also responsible for hosting the Corning World Series tournaments each summer.

2007.     A total of seventeen leagues franchised with Corning to take part in the Cinderella Softball program and Cinderella World Series Events.  There are 181 teams from the 17 leagues franchised representing over 2,120 girls.  In this year, 65 teams participated in the World Series games.

2013.     The league is growing.  Without the continue support of our sponsors, we would not be able to provide our young athletes the opportunity to learn life lessons of commitment, dedication, integrity, loyalty and teamwork using softball as a vehicle to achieve their goals.  Additionally, their continued support helps provide equipment, uniforms and fields for our girls.

We are missing documentation and photos, so if you have a trophy or other documentation that would help us fill in the gaps, please contact us through our website.... Thank you!!!


Corning Cinderella Girls Softball
PO Box 1411 
Corning, New York 14830

Email: [email protected]

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