Lee Anne "Beanie" Ketcham will be the featured speaker May 1 at the ACCC Softball Banquet, which will officially kick-off the ACCC/Region 22 Softball Tournament in Alabaster, AL. The tournament is set to begin Friday, May 2 and will conclude with the Championship Game on Sunday, May 4.
Lee Anne "Beanie" Ketcham started playing baseball in 1977 at age 8 in the Hoover, AL Dixie Boys Baseball League as the only girl. She continued to play every season from ages 8 to 18 as a pitcher and infielder. In 1987 and 1988 she concluded her amateur baseball career with two seasons of varsity baseball at Vestavia High School, under legendary baseball coach, Sammy Dunn.
Ketcham's softball career did not begin until the summer 1987. As the starting short stop for the Vestavia Dixie Debs, she helped the team to a Dixie Debs World Series Championship. In 2010, Ketcham was inducted into the Alabama Dixie Softball Hall of Fame.
In 1987 Ketcham became the first Alabama athlete to sign a letter of intent to play Division I softball. Attending Oklahoma State University, she was a four year letter winner for the Cowgirl softball team and graduated with a degree in Mechanical Engineering. She also helped the Cowgirls to four Big 8 Championships, two Regional Championships, and two third place finishes in the Women's College World Series. In addition, Ketcham was named to the Academic All-Big 8 Team three times as a shortstop.
Upon graduation from OSU in December of 1993, Ketcham was invited to try out for the all women's professional baseball team, the Colorado Silver Bullets, coached by Hall of Fame pitcher, Phil Neikro. As a pitcher she recorded the team's first-ever win in St. Paul, Minnesota, striking out 14 batters in 7 innings. That inaugural season, Ketcham won 5 of the team's 6 wins. Over the team's four year history she helped the Silver Bullets improve from a 6-40 record in 1994 to a 23-22 record in the team's final season (1997). After a record setting season in 1997, the team disbanded. In addition to playing for the Silver Bullets, Ketcham was one of only two women invited to play in the Hawaiian Winter Baseball League, an off-season developmental league for future Major League stars. As a member of the Maui Stingrays she played alongside future Major League greats Craig Counsel and Quinton McCracken. The highlight of her time with the Stingrays came when she stuck out Honolulu Shark, Aaron Boone. He went back to the dugout and threw his bat in the garbage can.
In 1995, Ketcham was awarded the Sington Trophy as the Alabama Female Professional Athlete of the Year.
In the offseason, Ketcham was a baseball pitching instructor for the International Baseball Foundation, a local non profit organization involved in grass roots instruction here in Birmingham and abroad.
In the summers of 1998 and 1999, she was hired by Major League Baseball Canada to organize and direct baseball camps for girls in five cities across Canada.
Although still involved in baseball, 1998 marked the beginning of Ketcham's softball coaching career. Enrolling as a student in Beeson Divinity School's Master of Theological Studies Program she was hired as the graduate assistant for the Samford Softball Program. In 1999, she moved up the coaching ladder and served as an assistant coach for an additional three years. Finally, in 2002, Ketcham took the reigns as Samford's Head Coach. In eight seasons at Samford, Ketcham led the Bulldogs to the only three winning seasons in the program's 25 year history.
In 2006 and 2008, Ketcham was hired as the pitching coach for the USA Women's Baseball Team set to compete in the Women's World Cup in Taiwan and Japan, respectively. The USA brought home the gold from Taiwan and the bronze from Japan.
Ketcham resigned from Samford in 2010 after 12 years of coaching to pursue a new career. That year she began a three and a half year journey to begin a career in prosthetics.
In 2012, she was inducted into the Vestavia High School Sports Hall of Fame.
In January of 2014, she received her Alabama license to practice prosthetics. She works at Birmingham Limb and Brace serving those with limb loss. In September of this year she plans to travel to Ghana, Africa for the third straight year to work in a prosthetics clinic in the capital city of Accra. She works with local prosthetists to provide artificial limbs and the hope of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Ketcham also serves as a volunteer at the Birmingham City jail teaching a Bible Study and encouraging the women towards hope and restoration. She is an active member of The Church at Brook Hills.