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35th annual Gay Softball World Series kicks off in Chicago

Editor's Note: Five teams from San Diego's America's Finest City Softball Leage (AFCSL) Open Division are participating in these festivities: Loft (B Div), Flick's Lawmen (C Div), Bamboo Lounge (C Div), Hillcrest Pharmacy After Shock (D Div), Bourbon Street Krush (D Div).

More than 3,000 softball players have descended upon Chicago this week from all over the continent for the for the 35th Annual North American Gay Amateur Athletic Alliance Gay Softball World Series, which starts tournament play Tuesday and runs through Sunday.

"No matter what community you're representing, straight gay or whatever, hosting events like this is about so much more than that basic underlying athletic part of it," said Ted Cappas, president of Series 2011 Chicago, the nonprofit organization that has spent the last two years planning the event. "It's about competition and community and in our case, the LGBT community."

This year marks the first time since 1983 that Chicago has hosted the Gay Softball World Series, and organizers say it has grown tremendously since then. According to Aaron Brost, director of marketing and ceremonies for the event, Chicago's 1983 Gay Softball World Series, had just one division with 14 teams. This week, 150 teams from 41 North American cities are expected to participate.

Read the full story HERE.