Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Dolphin's Daughter Mu Star Babb Discovered Softball When Dad's Miami Mates Played Slow-Pitch

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Dolphin's Daughter Mu Star Babb Discovered Softball When Dad's Miami Mates Played Slow-Pitch

Article excerpt

Children often have more than one baby sitter, but Mary Babb had about 50 - all at the same time. They were the Miami Dolphins.

As the 4-year-old daughter of a Dolphins defensive back, Charlie Babb, Mary loved to go to training camp and practices with her father.

These days, Mary practices with the No. 12-ranked University of Missouri softball team (40-5). iM Babb, a shortstop, was batting .427 with a school-record 50 runs batted in at the start of the week.

Babb would come to know softball through her father and his Miami teammates. But not on Sundays.

On Sundays, they played a game she didn't understand as a 4-year-old. She didn't really want to watch the football that was being played at training camp and the practices, anyway.

What Mary went for was the hot tub at the Dolphins' training site. She'd trade her clothes for a swimsuit and wristbands, and the equipment manager would help her into the tub.

"I would sit in the hot tub with the guys," said Mary, who would take the wristbands and "pretend I was wrapping them. Back then, I used to think that I could be a football player."

"She was like one of the guys," Charlie said, laughing.

Mary faithfully attended every Dolphins home game with her mother, sister and brother. She didn't know what she was seeing, but she knew her father's number (49) and tracked him on the field.

Babb played seven seasons with the Dolphins, and was a starting safety on the 1973 team that won the Super Bowl.

Babb discovered softball when her father played on a slow-pitch team with his Dolphins teammates. Mary made herself the team's cheerleader and was fascinated by the sport, so her father signed her up for tee ball and coached the team.

Throughout her school days in Florida, Babb took pride in her athletic ability. When other girls were hanging on the monkey bars, Babb would play kickball. By the time she got to Barron Collier High School in Naples, Fla., Babb was a sports nut.

"I don't think I would have liked high school without athletics," she said.

Babb played volleyball, softball and soccer in high school. Dad seldom, if ever, missed a game.

Though Babb excelled at all three sports, she didn't attract attention from Division I colleges. …

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