(Article written in local newspaper - June 2019)
Oshkosh’s Mr Ambassador:
Oshkosh Senior softball will forever owe a debt of gratitude to Ed Anderson. Although he passed from this life recently, Ed's tireless work and dedication will live on as long as The Oshkosh Ambassadors have a say in it.
Ed was the Oshkosh Ambassador Founder, organizer, fundraiser, recruiter and manager. He was a very focused, determined man and a stickler for detail who was the solo pilot of The Oshkosh Ambassadors from their inception.
Senior softball after 1980, began to lessen in opportunities for older players aged 50s, 60s and 70s. They had softball in just one, 35 and over league. Players seemed doomed to stop playing. Legend has it that in the late 80s, Senior Softball in Oshkosh really began with a phone call to Ed Anderson from his friend Dick Naslund. An Oshkosh resident, Dick was out in Las Vegas and relayed all about the Senior softball games and Tournaments going on out West. Ed and Dick along with many other top players in the area formed a 55s team that participated in several tournaments, including Las Vegas, for several years.
In the mid 90s, as The Ambassador players grew older, Naslund and several players organized a 60+ Team, in addition to the Oshkosh Ambassador 55+ Team. The 60+ Team called themselves the Oshkosh Old Stars. Ed Anderson continued to develop the Ambassadors, who eventually formed a 60+ team and a 65+ team. This was in addition to the original 55+ Team. Anderson’s assistant and All-Star outfielder, Bob Hoffman states that “Ed did everything, including uniforms, tournament registration and all travel logistics for the entire team”. Ed’s family was also omnipresent for cheering on each event. In the late 1990s Ed took on another huge venture in starting an Annual Oshkosh Senior Tournament and named it “The Badger Classic”. Ed’s Team players agree that he was a tireless worker who always saw things through to fruition. Hoffman adds “Ed was a great manager who loved the game and the players”.
After that, Ed began to visit Florida more and more and eventually decided in 2004, it was time to move on but he wanted his vision to live on. A Board of Directors was formed and it currently has nine members. The Oshkosh Ambassador Organization today has 80+ players on 5 Teams in various age groups. The Ambassador’s have over 35 sponsors and have hosted “The Badger Classic” in Oshkosh for 20+ years. This all became possible because of Ed taking the ball and running with it. Ed Anderson’s wonderful contributions and developments with the Ambassador’s will always be remembered. It is in his honor that the Ambassadors are renaming The “Badger Classic”. The tournament will now be known as “The Ed Anderson Memorial Badger Classic”.
Many of today’s players still have fond memories of Ed Anderson and hopefully the newer players will continue to hear and appreciate all that he’s done for Senior Softball. And every Ambassador player should know that in every game they play, Ed is just beyond 3rd base, waving them home to victory. Ed, you were truly blessed and now the Ambassadors are. Thanks Ed
(written by Ambassador team member Dan Davis)