Ann Salter ‘79: Memorable thief of home
The most memorable moment of Ann Salter ’79’s athletic career is one of those plays that’s simultaneously electrifying and unfortunate. It was Salter’s junior year at Greenhills, and with a softball game tied and Salter representing the winning run on third base, coach Marilyn Bradley gave her the sign to steal home. Salter slid home safely, winning the game for Greenhills — but tore up her ankle in the process. After that, she stayed with the team, but was restricted to managing and keeping stats.
Salter first came to Greenhills in 1973 for seventh grade.
“I didn’t understand how much Greenhills had to offer at first, but I soon learned that it was a land of opportunity,” she said. “I found so many ways to get involved, and discovered I could contribute even though I wasn’t the best or most experienced.”
During a lower school Field Day event, Salter won the award for longest softball throw, setting a record that stood until her junior year. Still not sure about her athletic potential, Salter joined the softball team as an outfielder under Bradley, who quickly helped her realize that she could play ball.
Bradley was dedicated to improving her players, both as athletes and as leaders. “I just remember her smile,” Salter said. “She constantly smiled and clapped. She was tough, but we always knew that she meant well. I didn’t fear her, but I knew I had to work hard and do my best.”
As she grew as an adult athlete, Salter realized the body and mind work in concert together. She gained critical mental strength, for instance, from her physical strength when it was tested during breast cancer treatments in 2011. Now looking back, she remembers how her journey all began at Greenhills, when she discovered she could relieve her mental stress with a physical activity like softball.
“If I had not had the opportunity at Greenhills to experience a sport and become an athlete, if I hadn’t had that exposure in that safe, loving environment, I would not be who I am,” Salter said. “I was very fortunate to be at Greenhills, and I am the person I am today because of all the ways it shaped me as an adult.”
Salter still looks back on her Greenhills athletic career with a smile. In addition to all the bunting and stealing that Bradley made her do, she also played Varsity Volleyball under the direction of Coach Tom Friedlander.
“Most of the teachers came out to our games to cheer us all on,” she said. “It was with true family pride and spirit.”
When Salter caught pneumonia her senior year, Friedlander and most of the team visited her in the hospital to deliver the Most Improved Player award. The memory remains etched in her mind.
“Greenhills is still an extraordinary place, even though it’s very different 50 years later,” Salter said. “The core values remain the same whether it’s 1973 or 2021…and the lockers remain unlocked.”