Ralph Raymond (Worcester, Ma.), two-time Olympic Head Coach and Hall of Fame member, passed away on Tuesday, April 23. He was 94 and four days shy of his birthday, April 27, 1924.
An avid supporter of women’s fast pitch softball, Raymond was instrumental in the growth of the game due to his involvement with the legendary Raybestos Brakettes. Starting out as an assistant coach, Raymond tookover as manager in 1968, a position he held until 1994.
Joining the U.S. Olympic Team coaching staff, Raymond guided Team USA to a Gold Medal at the 1996 and 2000 Olympic Games. Raymond earned the accolade of winningest manager in USA Softball history with a 332-9 record for a .974 winning percentage, compiling a 72-1 record in winning five ISF (now known as the WBSC) World Championships (1974, 1978, 1986, 1990, and 1994). He went to the Pan American Games where the team achieved Gold three times (1979, 1995 and 1999) and silver once (1983).
With a mindset to play the game the right way, Raymond was pivotal in the popularization of the sport of softball prior to the 1996 Olympic Games during the U.S. pre-Olympic tour.
In his tenure with the Brakettes and Team USA, Raymond’s impact on the game will endure due through some of the legends of the game he coached, including Kathy Arendsen, Joan Joyce, Sue Enquist, Lisa Fernandez, Dot Richardson, Laura Berg and Michele Smith.
Ralph Raymond Obituary
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