case 'Jesse Baker':
If ever an individual grew up around a ballpark, it was Darvee Olsen. That’s because Darvee was introduced to fastpitch, literally, as an infant. She was born in March 1957 and that summer her mother played softball. From age 9 through 13, at the same time that she was a bat girls for women’s fastpitch teams, Darvee played the game for various youth teams at fields around Des Moines, SeaTac, Burien, West Seattle and surrounding communities.
While in junior high school and later at Tyee High, she participated in gymnastics, swimming, volleyball, basketball, track & field and cheerleading.
Still, fastpitch is where she shined, and her ability became apparent at an early age. When she was just 8 years old Darvee caught her mother’s pitching practice in the back yard. When she was 14, playing with her mom as a regular member of a women’s fastpitch team, she was the all-star third baseman alongside her all-star utility player mom, Mac Olsen, at the Portland Rose tournament at Erv Lind Park. At the time, Mac and Darvee may have been the first mother-daughter combination in women’s fastpitch.
Earning all-tournament recognition at the Portland Rose Tournament was the beginning of many such league and tournament awards for Darvee. She won several Golden Glove and Golden Bat awards for her prowess with the glove and bat. She won the “best catch” award a regional tournament in Idaho, was an all-star in numerous tournaments, including events held in Shelton and Lacey, and at the Class A regionals in Kennewick. That year, 1979, the Polar Bear Frozen Foods team won the regional title and participated at the national tournament in Bay City, Michigan.
She says that the best part of her career came while playing for Dick Pollen as a member of Polar Bear Frozen Foods and then into the mid 1980s with the Tacoma Lasers, with many of the players from the former team participating for the latter after a sponsor and name change. “I am so grateful for playing for this team, this coach,” she said. Darvee was the team’s leadoff batter and an excellent contact hitter, a proficient bunter and base runner. Defensively, whether playing second or third base, she was well known for her cat-quick reflexes and ability to turn some of the quickest double plays in the league.
The only thing that kept her from having even more impressive numbers is that she often missed games while working on-call as a brakeman for Union Pacific Railroad.
Following in the footsteps of her mother, her first coach and biggest supporter, Darvee served as a volunteer coach for her daughter’s Kent Parks/Blue Thunder 12-and-under team that went to the 1995 national tournament in Colorado.