The History of JPL Softball

Ed McNevin started the first JPL slo-pitch softball league in 1968. Soon after that, Ed formally inaugurated the JPL intramural softball program under the auspices of the now defunct JPL Employees Recreation Club (ERC) in 1970.

Originally, there was only one league (no A, B, C). The league had 6 teams (including a team from the Caltech Biology Department), playing at Caltech's field. Then Caltech formed its own intramural softball league. The JPL league played at many other venues. These teams were basically organization-based. Ed soon saw the need for a less competitive coed softball program to include more people, and in 1975 (approximately) he started the B league. In 1979 (approximately), Ed founded the casual C league, with more coed participation, for almost anyone who wanted to play softball. At the height of softball's popularity at JPL in the late 1980s or early 1990s, various offshoots of B and C leagues also sprung up, including B Minor, Coed, and D leagues, and the program peaked at around 60 teams altogether.

Ed McNevin remained the czar of all JPL softball leagues through the mid-1980s, at which time he started to divest some of his responsibilities to individual league commissioners because the program had grown so big. The beginning of the 1991 season saw the official debut of the present-day JPL Softball Program, with formal Bylaws and Program Rules and a governing council of officers. Scott Morgan has been the overall Program Commissioner since 1992.

By the mid 1990s, A League no longer attracted a quorum of teams interested in the top tier of competitiveness, and the various offshoots of B and C leagues also fell by the wayside. Thereafter the softball program consolidated into two leagues, the moderately competitive B League and the non-competitive C League. Starting in 1996, B League added a short 10-week Fall League after Labor Day, and the next year B League divided its traditional spring/summer season into separate Spring and Summer leagues of approximately the same length as the Fall League. C League has maintained its traditional undivided season of approximately 18 weeks running from mid-April to the end of August.

Richard Chen launched the JPL Softball Program's original website in the mid-1990s, and archival html records are available online for every B and C League season from that time forward. For the two and a half decades of JPL Softball's history prior to the mid-1990s, archival records exist only on paper. Scanned pdfs of the early historical records will be posted on this website as they become available.

Long-time veterans of JPL Softball are requested to contact Sam Dolinar (4-7403) and submit copies or scans of any ancient records that they possess, so that these records can be added to the historical archives of this website.

Histories of individual leagues:

A League* | B League | B Minor League* | C League | Coed League* | D League

*No historical data is currently posted for A, B Minor, and Coed Leagues.