By Clarence Plank: Freedom New Mexico
Brenda Depperman is working a softball memorial to honor her mother, Carol Depperman, who worked to start the Clovis women’s league years ago.
Carol and few other women campaigned to get the softball league going back in the early 1970s in Clovis by talking to Guy Leeder about having a night set aside for them.
“The way Guy tells it is that he had a meeting over at Duboise’s house,” Brenda said. “They proposed for them to play a night and he…let them have their own night.”
Carol was the organizer of the group, with Gloria Willet Duboise and Jerre Howell.
Leeder, Tom Wade and others in Clovis at the time had started the men’s program. Duboise went over to Leeder’s house and asked for a night for the women to play.
In 2003, Duboise and Carol were both presented a plaque for starting the women’s softball league. Carol also got the scorekeepers going because after the games she and Brenda would get all the stats together to take to the newspaper.
The little plaque or statues of the women Howell, Carol and Duboise would be added to the memorial that is at Guy Leeder Softball Complex. One idea is to get a small statue with all three women on it.
“For one person it is $800, and the Clovis Softball Association is going to donate $200,” Brenda said. “I don’t know if we can get something with their pictures and plaque.”
Darrell Chancey, vice-president of the New Mexico Amateur Softball Association, has been involved in softball for 23 years. Chancey said he is going to nominate Carol for the Softball Hall of Fame in New Mexico. The national Hall of Fame is in Oklahoma.
“She was a big contributor to the Clovis Softball Association and a large contributor to the women’s league,” Chancey said. “I firmly believe if it had not been for her and Gloria Duboise, it is very possible the women’s league could have been way behind in their drive to form a league.”
Chancey has been talking to Brenda about putting together a softball fundraiser to help raise money. Once a date and a time are set in place Chancey said he would sanction the event.
Michele Pogue is the daughter of Duboise said that the women who started the league were very tough. Duboise and Carol were been friends for a very long time and played on the first women’s softball team.
“My mom didn’t understand why women were not out there playing because she played fast pitch before,” Pogue said of her mother’s hunger to play softball. “She just really bugged Leeder until he gave in and let them give it a try.”
Pogue said that was back when players wore metal cleats and anything goes. Pogue said the rules have changed from back then.
“I didn’t know Brenda was doing this until she approached me about it,” Pogue said. “I know that the women who were involved would enjoy the honor.”
People who want to donate for the memorial can do so at the Cannon Federal Credit Union under Founder’s Savings at the Clovis location.