Recent Comments

    Couples Who Can Play Together Stay Together: Love Strikes

    By John Chen–

    Serving the American people is what Stacy Stobo and Alex Alexander have in common. Softball is what bonds them. Love is what has continued to keep this couple strong for 16 years and counting.

    A former Marine who served to protect the American people, Stacy always loved the game of softball, whether playing, umpiring or being more knowledgeable than even the most diehard fans. Growing up in Southern California, she observed that while boys played a variety of sports, girls pretty much played softball. She was no exception and quickly learned to love the game, developing an affinity towards winning because, as she happily conveys, winning is the bomb!

    A former firefighter who served to protect San Franciscans, Alex always loved softball too, whether it’s playing, umpiring or being more knowledgeable than … wait, this sounds familiar. Apparently, Alex’s affinity for softball parallels that of Stacy’s. Cue the foreshadowing music!

    Around 1999, Stacy and Alex played on the same women’s softball team in San Francisco. For some time, they were just friends and teammates. Life moved forward with no ulterior motives, no love connection and obviously no U-Haul rental. Three years had gone by, and still nothing.

    Then, at the 2002 NAGAAA (North America Gay Amateur Athletic Alliance) Softball World Series in Portland, Oregon, a fateful moment happened. Alex and Stacy’s team represented San Francisco at this single most important and significant softball event every year. At the end of this particular Series, without any warning or hinting or signing from above, Alex out of the blue confessed to Stacy that she had feelings for her.

    Completely caught off guard, Stacy remembered her immediate response being a shocked, “No!” After thinking things through for a couple of days, however, Stacy eventually felt smitten, and in her own words, “fell hard for Alex.” Three weeks later at the U-Haul rental office … wait. Stacy just corrected me and said that they decided to live together three years later and got married at San Francisco City Hall in 2014.

    As the years went on, Alex and Stacy continued to play softball together on the same team in both the women’s and the open divisions of the SFGSL (San Francisco Gay Softball League). Alex pitched and Stacy caught, that is until Stacy’s injured knees forced her to play first base. Together, they helped their teams to win a few league championships and even took home bronze at the 2018 Gay Games in Paris while playing with the San Francisco Eagles. Win or lose, this sports-loving couple always supports one another.

    Their love of softball, now even after their playing days, led both Alex and Stacy to become certified umpires working recreation and park leagues including SFGSL, as well as at high school and NCAA Division I games. “Softball is the main component that we built our relationship on as players and as umpires,” Alex told me for the San Francisco Bay Times. “We both want to progress and to achieve the most and be there for each other when things go well or don’t go well,” added Stacy.

    Having the same goals and passion for softball enabled Alex and Stacy to find love in one another, but it took time. This allowed them to navigate the complexities of a successful partnership through softball. Whether it’s dissecting plays, strengthening their technical abilities, dealing with wins and losses, watching top college teams or debating the merits of rules, there’s always something for this successful sports couple to talk about.

    John Chen, a UCLA alumnus and an avid sports fan, has competed as well as coached tennis, volleyball, softball and football teams.