‘Midge’ Nelson is regarded as one of Australia’s greatest softball players, competing in four World Series, 1965 (Melbourne), 1970 (Osaka), 1974 (Connecticut) and 1978 (San Salvador), a record that was passed by fellow Australian Joyce Lester in 1994. In 1965, Australia won the World Series, Nelson playing a key role in the victory. A natural athlete, Nelson also represented Australia in hockey, and Victoria in basketball.
In an international career that spanned 18 years from 1960 to 1978, Nelson was captain of the Australian team from 1973 to her retirement. She played 54 matches for Australia, 25 as captain, and had an overall career batting average of .205 and a career fielding average of .994.
As a member of the Western Australian team four times and the Victorian team 19 times, Nelson attended a record 23 consecutive national titles. She was a member of the winning team 13 times (one for WA and 12 for Victoria). On her retirement as a player in 1978, Nelson was appointed coach of the Victorian team.
In 1983 Nelson was inducted into the International Hall of Fame and in 1985 she was inducted into the Australian Softball Hall of Fame. In recognition of Nelson’s outstanding playing career, the Australian Softball Federation struck a special medal, the “Midge Nelson Medal” to be awarded each year to the Most Valuable Player at the national championships.
In 1977 she was awarded the Medal of the Order of the British Empire for her services to softball and hockey