Claudette “Corky” Russell was the Queen of East County Softball. For twenty-five years she dedicated her life to teaching girls how to play softball, and in turn LOVE softball.
Corky began managing recreational league teams when her twin daughters were six years old. Once her daughters were grown, she continued to manage the teams her granddaughter played on as part of the East County Amateur Softball Association (ECASA) league.
During her time in ECASA, Corky had severe coronary artery disease, but she continued to manage actively every year without pause. Corky managed teams in the ECASA starting in 1991 with the PeeWee (6u) Division when her granddaughter was 5 years old. She continued to manage teams through each age division, Rookies (8u), Mini-Minors (10u), Minors (12u) and was managing a Majors (14u) division team when she passed away on April 10th, 1999 from heart failure.
In addition to her regular team duties, Corky managed 5 All-Stars teams. These teams won many tournaments including a first and second place finish in the South San Diego Districts and a third place finish in the Southern California State Championships. In 1995, Corky managed the ECASA (10u) All-Star team that became the first league team to play in the Area Nationals in Lodi, California. Corky was an active member of the North County Winterball League and mentored many other East County managers and Coaches, teaching not just her coaching style, but also her love of the game.
We are lucky to still have the Corky Russell spirit alive and well in East County, as her Daughter is a current Board Member, her Granddaughter is a current Team Manager in our league with her Great Granddaughter currently playing in the 14u Division.
Softball is a sport that brings people together, and Claudette “Corky” Russell embodied this to her core. That is why we host our annual Corky Russell Classic every year in her memory. It is a chance to bring leagues, teams and players together for what she loved most, the Game. We hope to see you there too.