USA Softball Region 9

Bonnie Anderson


2007 - Umpire

Association: Oregon

National Hall of Fame Member

Anderson was THE premier umpire in Oregon, the Pacific Northwest and beyond, from 1974-1998. She was a pioneer for women umpires, and a mentor, clinician and teacher to hundreds of men and women throughout the Northwest. Some of her more notable
accomplishments include:

  • Six ASA national tournaments, including a National Sports Festival and a U.S.Olympic Festival, and being the first woman umpire ever to represent Oregon in a national tournament (and umpire the championship game)
  • A world tournament as an International Softball Federation (ISF) umpire
  • 29 ASA regional tournaments and 58 ASA state tournaments
  • 20 years in the PAC-10 Conference (now PAC-12) as an NCAA umpire, including 5 championship tournaments (the 1st from the Northwest, male or female, to work a college world series)
  • 9 years as UIC for the State of Oregon
  • State, Regional, and National ASA Halls of Fame
  • National Indicator Fraternity

Two words that best describe Anderson are “professional” and “classy.” Her umpire uniform was always spotless: shirt and pants pressed with sharp pleats, cap blocked perfectly, and blindingly-shiny shoes. Anderson was very colorful on the field with her legendary loud voice and total game control, make no mistake. This was somewhat contradictory, since in other areas of her life she was rather timid, but when she stepped on the field, she was in her element. Anderson was not power-hungry, though, and she did not like to eject players. Instead, she preferred to work with them. Once during a game a male player questioned Anderson’s rule interpretation. He got right in her face and said, “Show me where it says that in the rulebook. That can’t be right.” She looked him squarely in the eyes and said, “I AM the rulebook.” And she was. She could quote chapter and verse, and one of her many certificates is from an All-America Umpire School for “Rule Knowledge Expertise (100% and 95%).” Anderson was the best of all those who attended. Always wanting to be better, she attended 4 ASA National Umpire Schools and 2 All-America Umpire Schools, and everyone in the Pacific Northwest got the benefit of what she learned. As a pioneer for women umpires, Anderson felt a lot of pressure. She is quoted in the newspaper as saying, “Deep inside, I knew because of the fact I was a woman, I would have to work 10 times harder than a male official to be accepted as an umpire – not as a woman umpire, but an umpire. I really don’t want to be designated as a woman umpire. I’m no better than my partner out there. It doesn’t matter if they’re male or female, we’re both partners in blue.” She added, “One of the major weaknesses I have is I try to be perfect and when I make an error or feel I’ve messed up, I’m very hard on myself.” Anderson will be remembered for her love of teaching, and she was the finest clinician in Oregon and the Northwest. In the early years she was known for her one-woman clinics, traveling hundreds of miles, staying up half the night with the local UIC discussing philosophy, rules and mechanics, then conducting clinics all day long after a few hours of sleep. With the wealth of knowledge she gained on the field and in the umpiring schools she attended, Anderson founded the ASA Umpire Mechanic Schools in Oregon, as well as the Oregon ASA Umpire Fraternity, and she mentored high school umpires from 1979-1998.

After 25 years of umpiring men, women, high school and children in slow pitch and fast pitch at all levels, Anderson passed away in 2012 at the age of 69. She was inducted into the National Hall of Fame in 2015.