Lisa pointed out to me tonight that I have run amuck. Until she pointed it out, I hadn’t realized that I had written only one story about a woman athlete. On April 3rd I wrote a story about Mary Lou Retton. The first sentence of that story starts with SSOMG apologizing that it had not yet written a story about a woman athlete. So once again, two and a half months later, SSOMG needs to apologize again about the missing stories of women athletes of my generation.
So in an effort to catch up, here is the story about Don Drysdale’s wife and Dave Meyer’s sister, Ann Meyers Drysdale.
In 1966 when I attended Ladera Vista Junior High in Fullerton, the newly completed Sonora High opened. When I graduated and headed on to Sunny Hills High, our junior high class was split and sent to four district high schools, Sonora, Fullerton High, Troy High School and Sunny Hills, depending on what part of Fullerton you lived in. Dave Meyers, and later, his sister Ann attended Sonora. Dave and I were the same age and so our paths crossed. Ann was two years younger, and so we never met, but I read plenty of news clippings about her career at Sonora and later at UCLA.
Dave Meyers went on to star in Westwood, being a part of the 1974 and 1975 UCLA teams with Bill Walton, Jamaal Wilkes and a star alongside Marques Johnson and Richard Washington. He was actually drafted #2 in the 1975 NBA draft. In the meantime, Ann became a superstar in her own right. She lettered in seven (yes, 7) different sports and earned 13 most valuable player awards. She became the first high school women’s basketball player to become a member of the US National team. Ann was just plain amazing. After high school she attended UCLA, just as her brother had, and became the first four-time All-American women’s basketball player; an amazing star. In 1980 Ann made NBA history when she signed a $50,000 no-cut contract with the Indiana Pacers. Though she didn’t make the final cut, her NBA experience led to her becoming a color analyst for the Pacers at a time when there were few women in sportscasting. Along the way, Meyers became the first woman drafted by the Women’s Professional Basketball League; plenty of “firsts” and so many great moments in a cutting-edge basketball career.
In 1986 Ann married Don Drysdale, former star pitcher and then-current broadcaster for the Los Angeles Dodgers, and 19 years his junior. Anne and Don had three children together before Don’s untimely death in 1993 at the age of 56.
As you can imagine, Ann belongs to every applicable Hall of Fame. After an unparalleled career, Ann is now retired and lives in San Diego.
SSOMG thanks Lisa for moving me in the direction of writing a second story about a woman sports hero of my generation. I am glad it led me to telling the story of Ann Meyers Drysdale. Though our paths probably never quite crossed 50 years ago, it was great to retell a story of home-town hero who really was a Sports Star of My Generation.