Fastpitch softball has been part of Aurora since the 1930’s. The game gained popularity in the city during the 30’s and 40’s in two recreational men’s leagues, The Aurora Industrial League, and The Aurora Protestant Church League. The game took center stage in town in the late 1940’s, when industrial conveyor manufacturing company Stephens-Adamson decided to sponsor and get serious about one of the teams from the industrial league, The Aurora Sealmaster Bearings.
S-A built the Sealmasters a stadium across the street from their manufacturing complex (aptly named Stephens-Adamson Field on Ridgeway Avenue, on the city’s near west side), and brought world class players to the team. In 1950, the team finished fifth in the nation, and by the mid 1950’s, had solidified their reputation as one of the best teams in the United States. The Sealmasters went on to win National Championships in 1959, 61, 65 and 67 and World Championships in 1966 and 1968.
Aurora Home Savings and Loan took over sponsorship of Aurora’s Major Men’s team in the 1970’s and 1980’s. In the 1970’s, the Savers finished second in the ASA Nationals for four consecutive years and won the International Softball Congress World Tournament (Tempe, AZ) in 1980.
Dolan & Murphy Real Estate has sponsored Aurora’s Major Men’s Team since 1988. Aurora has qualified for and played in the International Softball Congress World Tournament every year since 1994, which is a record. More recent highlights include a 12th place finish at the ASA National tournament in 2001 (Decatur, IL), a 17th place finish in 2007 (Kitchner, ON), and a 2nd place finish in the ISC II tournament in 2012 (Midland, MI).
In 1998, the Aurora Fastpitch Softball Association was established. The AFSA board wisely recognized that the women’s game was coming of age and could benefit from helping young women develop their game at a more competitive level. Since adding the women’s teams to the already well established men’s programs, the organization has grown to sponsor several girls travel teams (The Aurora Raiders).
In 2018, the AFSA began running a public recreational fastpitch league, open to men and women ages 16 and up. The league is a continuation of the previously mentioned Aurora Protestant Men’s League, which operated from 1931 – 2017.