March 1, 2003
By Tony Suarez, FSU Sports Information
When Seminole junior Elisa Vasquez was in 8th grade, she wrote a short
story about her life as a catcher called “Behind the Iron Mask.” Years later
she is still behind that mask, but there is so much more to her to be
Vasquez is a bright young lady who does an admirable job balancing soft-ball
with school. Her 10-hour day usually starts at 7:30 a.m. with weights,
followed by her classes and practice. As an English major, she carries a
mighty pen to go along with her potent bat in the Seminoles’ line-up.
Vasquez came to Florida State by way of Hesperia, California, a Southern
California town she describes as “a small, deserty place that’s not really a
vacation spot.” Originally she wanted to be a film major, but she found
English and creative writing to be more suitable for her athletic schedule.
Once Vasquez graduates, her perfect job would be working for a magazine.
“What I want is to be a movie critic where you can watch movies and write
Her love for movies began in the 10th grade and has continued to this day.
Being the other passion in her life in addition to softball, Vasquez cannot
help but compare the two.
“I think (sports and movies) are similar in just the way they affect people.
I think playing or watching sports helps me forget everything else that’s
going on in my life. It’s a pretty cool thing. You create that little ideal
world away from reality.
“Sports and movies are both dramatic. I think they affect people in different
ways. A dramatic softball game is really intense, and the thing about a
softball game is that you can only do it once; a movie you can see over
So with a classic combination like sports and movies, it can safely be
assumed that Elisa is a fan of movies about sports, although she admits
that many of them are not realistic. Some of her favorites include “For
Love of the Game”, “61*”, and “A League of Their Own.”
While she may not wear a skirt for a uniform and be as tall as Geena
Davis’ character in the movie, Vasquez has put up some large “Dottie
Henson-like” stats so far this season. Through February 23, she is in the
top five in most major offensive categories for the Seminoles including
runs, hits, slugging percentage, doubles, and total bases. Vasquez is also
tied for the team lead in RBI (9), and is the only player on the team to
record a triple thus far.
Another of Vasquez’ favorite sports movies is “Prefontaine.”
“This is a movie about a runner at the University of Oregon (Steve
Prefontaine) who ran in the 1972 Olympics, but was killed before the ’76
Olympics. He used to be my favorite athlete because he had the attitude
that he was out to win, and nobody could beat him,” recalled Vasquez.
Vasquez feels she shares those attributes with Prefontaine, and that has
helped her along her softball journey: from her first softball practice out
in the cold at the age of 10, to becoming the starting catcher for the
Florida State Seminoles.
If there ever is a movie made about Elisa Vasquez, she has it all figured
out. Which actress would play Vasquez? “A lot of people have told me
(Jennifer Lopez). She can play me if she can play softball.”
According to Vasquez, Josh Hartnett would play the leading man, and the
movie would end with the Seminoles winning the World Series. But Florida
State fans may not have to wait for a movie to watch the Seminoles win it
all. Said Vasquez, “I think we have so much talent on this team. Our team
is so fast. I think we can make it to the World Series.”
Those talented Seminole teammates of hers would describe Vasquez as laid back and happy-go-lucky. Added Vasquez, “I always try to be nice. I
try to be an all-around good person. I would be there for anybody who
was in trouble.”
It is in part to these heroic qualities that make the mild-mannered Elisa
Vasquez well-liked and a pleasure to be around. While the girl behind the
mask may not be a superhero, for the Florida State Seminoles, she is on
her way to becoming a superstar.