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Ralph Raymond

Year of Induction: 
2003

Ralph, born in Worcester, has the highest winning percentage of any coach of any sport in the USA. Raymond was an outstanding athlete at Commerce High School where he captained the Mercuries in the three major sports (baseball, football, basketball). He later attended the University of Miami where he was elected captain of the freshman basketball team and twice was the baseball captain. He was head football coach at Doherty High School and led the Highlanders to nine Inter-High championships and a Super Bowl title. He coached football at the former Assumption Prep and baseball at Holy Cross.

Since Ralph Raymond started coaching women’s fast pitch softball in 1962, he became the nation’s number one amateur softball coach. Between 1966 and 1993, Ralph coached the Raybestos Brakettes of Stratford, Connecticut to 17 ASA national titles and eight second-place finishes, with a winning percentage of .910.

When softball made its Olympic debut in 1996 in Atlanta, Ralph was named the head coach of the USA’s team, and led them to a gold medal. He was again named the head coach of Team USA for the 2000 Games in Sydney and again led the team to a gold medal. USA won the gold medal by winning five games in a row after losing three games in the round robin.

Besides a pair of gold medals in the Olympics, Ralph has coached USA teams to gold medals in five ISF World Championships (1974, 1978, 1986, 1990, and 1994) and three Pan American Games (1979, 1995, and 1999), plus a silver medal in the 1983 Pan American Games. He also has led USA teams to gold medals in a variety of other international events, including the 1981 and 1985 World Games, the 1993 Intercontinental Cup, the 1992 Challenge Cup, and the 1994 South Pacific Classic. He was inducted into the ISF Hall of Fame and the National Softball Hall of Fame in 1993 and was honored as the Softball Coach of the Year in 1996 and 2000. Ralph was also the first inductee into the Worcester Son’s of Italy Hall of Fame.

Ralph and his wife Mary have seven children: Michael, Ralph Jr., John, Robert, Mary, Kathryn, and Patricia, and have thirteen grandchildren.

Ralph Raymond