A Lifetime Achievement Award - Dot Wilkinson, Arizona Softball Legend
On Saturday, August 13, 2016, 94 year old Dot Wilkinson was awarded the "Lifetime Achievement Award" from the Arizona Softball Foundation. This was the first time the award was presented. Dot was a catcher for the PBSW Ramblers from 1933-1965 and an dangerous batter with a record of .455 in 1954 and .450 in 1955.
She started playing at age 11 and led the team to three national championships in 1940, 1948, and 1949. Before college scholarships and NCAA softball, adult softball captivated small towns around the country; the most prominent teams were from Connecticut, California, Arizona, and Oregon. Tens of thousands would come out to watch the games.
She has also been inducted into the National Softball Hall of Fame and Museum in 1970, the international Bowling Hall of Fame in 1990, and the Arizona Hall of Fame in 1975 (she was the first woman to be inducted since its inception in 1957).
At the podium, Dot spoke about how the friendships she built during those decades through softball meant more to her than the accolades. According to Dot, "I have given everything to the game, and the game gave everything to me."