In so many respects, Al Ramsey is the rock upon which USSSA sits.
Although he is not recognized as one of the founding members, he joined USSSA as the Virginia State Director in 1969 when the Association was less than a year old. Within one year, he became a Regional Vice-President.
In 1971 the Executive Board of USSSA, faced with mounting debt and a struggling Association, met in Al’s hometown of Petersburg, VA. In that crucial meeting, the Association named Al Ramsey as National President and appointed Al's long-time friend, Jerry Ellis, as National Secretary and Treasurer.
Al put the Executive Directors in a room for two days and effectively placed the Association under a new Constitution and set of new business rules which both saved and transformed USSSA into a national softball powerhouse.
Over the course of the next 27 years and until his death in 1998, the growth and evolution of USSSA was nothing short of amazing. Al Ramsey directed the creation of Committees to oversee Men's, Women’s, Youth, Mixed Couples, and a variety of additional specialty softball programs. USSSA fought off multiple lawsuits by ASA. The USSSA National Headquarters and Hall of Fame was created in Petersburg and paid off in just three years. World Series play for a variety of programs were instituted. USSSA took softball to Russia. The list goes on and on.
And, in 1997, in one of the most dramatic strategies ever undertaken by an existing sports association, USSSA changed its name to match a new scope…that of a multi-sport association. Al Ramsey was the visionary who saw the need to grow the association in ways it never could have imagined when it was first founded just to take care of slo-pitch softball. Suddenly, USSSA stood for United States Specialty Sports Association, and sports like fast pitch, baseball, and basketball were suddenly under the same association.
Al Ramsey was also the creator of a youth scholarship program which is now named in his honor. Ramsey once said, "We must always strive for a program that gives something back to our team members."
Surely the USSSA College Scholarship Program “gives something back” and is a fitting tribute to one of the Association’s greatest members.