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Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

CLEVELAND COMPETITORS (JAYBIRDS)

CLEVELAND COMPETITORS (JAYBIRDS)

The CLEVELAND COMPETITORS (JAYBIRDS), 1977-1980, was Cleveland's first and only pro softball team. Organized by Don Rardin and Jay Friedman in 1977, the Cleveland Jaybirds joined the new 10-member American Professional Slo-Pitch League (APSPL). Attendance was poor the first 2 years of operation, and the owners sold out to Ted Stepien. Although Stepien installed new management and renamed the club the Cleveland Competitors, attendance dropped in 1979. Leaving the APSPL, Stepien organized the 8-team North American Softball League, but fan apathy continued during 1980, the team's last year of operation.