The Pride Softball League is inviting Utah’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community to Family Night Out, an evening of baseball with the Salt Lake Bees at Spring Mobile Baseball Park, in downtown Salt Lake City, July 30, at 7:05 p.m. Formally referred to as ‘Gay Day with the Salt Lake Bees,’ Aaron Smith, producer of the event, has reserved a block of seats for gay and lesbian fans and their friends, as the minor league Bees take on the visiting Tucson Padres, in the first game of a four-game series.

“What we are doing is not so much being supported by the SL Bees but rather a sales transaction has taken place between the Pride Softball League to do a mass purchase of tickets for July 30th,” said Smith, a Pride Softball committee/board member. “Family Night Out is our pitch to the LGBT community to come out and support our cause and those that support the league.”

When Smith uses the word ‘cause,’ he is referring to bringing the community together, en masse, to enjoy a Bees game and show Salt Lake City’s baseball fans, and baseball fans across the nation, that many gays and lesbians are interested in baseball, softball and sports in general. The Pride Softball League is celebrating its 17th year of play, with four divisions consisting of four teams each, who play each other at least twice during this summer’s season play.

“It all started with seeing other sports organizations always doing an activity that involved the whole community and since softball and baseball are very similar we thought it would be fun to invite the league as well as the rest of the community to participate in an activity that they would enjoy and might get more involved in,” Smith said.

FNO seats will be in section 22 of the ballpark, located along 1700 South and Main Street.  Smith has arranged to have between-inning fan activities to involve participants from section 22 in cheers, contests and general fun. Sponsors are donating swag or inviting attendees to after-parties for those that want to continue the fun.

“The food is included in the price of the ticket. For $20 a person will get admission to the game as well as a food voucher which will entitle them to the food that will be served from the center-field pavilion,” Smith said. “While the game starts at 7:05 p.m., food will be served from 6 to 8 p.m.”

Anyone that might like to meet Pride League softball players or support the league can attend FNO. Potential players can still sign up to join a Pride softball team and finish out the rest of the season. Teams consist of different levels of players and there is a $10 player fee, along with team dues and equipment purchases. Players are responsible for their own equipment.

“I have played baseball as well as other sports my entire life and never understood why gay guys didn’t like sports … but I have played organized baseball or softball since I was 14,” Smith opined, who recognizes that Utah’s gays and lesbians are some of the most active sports enthusiasts in the country.

“I’m so glad I managed to start working on this back in November 2010,” said Smith, 39, who grew up in St. Louis, home of his favorite baseball team, the Cardinals. “There have been so many ideas that both myself and the Bees have thrown around to make the event a success.”

Other sponsors of FNO include JAM, Club Try-Angles, Paper Moon, X96 and SLUG Magazine, while QSaltLake and the Pride Softball League are official hosts of the evening. Currently, ticket information is available by emailing aaron@prideleague.com or psl@prideleague.com. Information about Pride League is available at PrideLeague.com and information on the Salt Lake Bees is available at SLBees.com. The Pride league plays Sundays at Sunnyside Park, located at 1600 E. 840 South, in Salt Lake City, but will be taking the next two Sundays off to celebrate Memorial Day and Utah Pride.

Team Try-Angles gears up for MS Ride

Team Try-Angles will again participate in the annual MS Society’s fundraiser, Harmon’s Best Dam Bike Ride, June 25-26, at the Cache County Fairground in Logan, Utah. Team Try-Angles is lead by CycleOUT veteran, organizer and leader, Jeffrey Wood, who is also a member of QUAC.

Each rider gets pledges from supporters for mileage rode during the weekend. Day one consists of relatively flat rides of 40, 75, and 100 mile day trips, while day two consists of 40 and 75 mile rides up Blacksmith Fork Canyon and back across the Hyrum Dam.

Team Try-Angles extensively plans in advance and creates an overnight camp at the event with team members and supporters making the best of the two-day fundraiser. CycleOut is now organizing ‘Cycle Camp’ lead by Wood, with planned rides for all levels Monday through Sunday at various times to fit one’s schedule. Visit CycleOut.org or email info@cyclout.org for more information.

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