SAN ANTONIO – The San Antonio Gay Softball League is one of several athletic programs in the Alamo City's LGBTQ community that helps bring people together on and off the field.
The league is preparing a float for the Pride Parade on June 30. The parade theme is "Stand Up, Stand Out, Be Counted."
Many people around San Antonio are taking notice of SAGSL throughout the year.
"Sometimes we get people off the street because they'll be walking by and (say), "'Hey!' You know,'" Lisa Rodriguez, a softball player, said.
"Expect a show," said Jenny Rodriguez, a softball player.
Lisa Rodriguez credits her husband for introducing her to SAGSL. The league welcomes everyone to participate. The couple had just started dating when he invited her to a game to watch.
Rodriguez herself is no stranger to the game of softball.
"I grew up playing softball, watching my mom play softball, watching my parents coach. I grew up on the field," Rodriguez said.
Rodriguez described her first experience with SAGSL as eye-opening and different, but enjoyed the experience. Rodriguez and her husband even started their own team together to socialize.
SAGSL was officially formed in 2015 under Pride San Antonio. The league's commissioner, Michael Rendon, said the league only started with about four or five teams. In 2018, the league saw growth in participation with about a dozen teams on the roster. Teams are put into two categories, competitive and social.
Rendon said softball keeps people active and also gives people a place to be themselves. Team members KSAT 12 spoke with described fellow players like family. The teams also invite their own family members to watch and fill the stands.
"You see the little kids running around. Everyone's just here to support each other," Rendon said.
Along with the social aspect, many teams experience a little friendly competition.
This year, three SAGSL teams will participate in the LGBTQ community World Series. The teams traveling to Tampa, Florida, for the competition are Los Cucuys, San Antonio Venom and The Leftovers.
"There's teams from all over the nation competing," Rendon said.
This is the second year SAGSL was able to send teams to the national competition.
The league is hosting a tournament in July to help raise money for the national competition.
Jenny Rodriguez said people shouldn't be afraid to join.
"I guess it's a little nerve-wracking meeting new people, but once you get here, everyone is so welcoming," she said.