Our Sport, Softball
by Jennie Finch on February 11, 2011
We all have been so blessed to see our game of softball explode over the last couple decades! On the International Level, Professional Level, Collegiate Level, High School Level, and at the Grass Root Level. I have been beyond blessed to be a part of our game at all of these levels, watching the legends of our game play and playing along side them. We as past players/current players want only to keep this progression going and continue to provide more and more opportunity for the millions of young girls playing our game all over the world. Now that I am retired I hope to have even more opportunity to help and assist with this movement. It is an exciting and crucial time for our sport.
We all know our biggest setback occurred following the 2008 Olympics with our sport sadly being removed from the Olympics. As hard as it still is to say those words, we must move on. We must continue to climb the mountain and leap over the hurdles just as those before us have. We are forced to move forward and find a way to continue to gain momentum and growth.
I have had the honor of playing with many incredible amazing women both internationally and professionally. Many of them still continue to play, and are tremendous representatives of our game. With the National Pro Fastpitch League growing and becoming more and more established many of our game’s greatest players have been forced into a tough decision. Unfortunately, it has been made impossible to play both USA Softball and in the NPF. My heart hurts thinking that our game’s best players will not be wearing USA this summer. I know how much it means to wear USA across your chest and I know how much pride, blood, sweat, tears, and sacrifice each one of these players have put in to wear USA. As hard as it was for them to make the decision to choose between USA and the NPF, I know each and every one of them ONLY want what is BEST for the SPORT and the FUTURE. I have the utmost respect for these core players and I know our game is in great hands! These players Watley, Mendoza, Osterman, Lappin, Lowe, Duran, Abbott, Galindo, & many more have an incredible opportunity to continue our game’s growth in many different arenas.
I know it will not be the same to watch Team USA this summer but I am excited for the opportunity for many young women to live out their dream of wearing the Red, White, & Blue. I am excited for the future of the National Pro Fastpitch League to explode now that it has the commitment of the most established players in our sport. Its tough to have a Professional League without the game’s best players… Don’t get me wrong–many of our game’s greatest players are in the NPF, the talent level is the best in world! It has always been a struggle for the league to not have the USA players in an NPF uniform! I look forward to an even better, stronger NPF than we have ever seen. I look forward to many new faces getting the chance to travel the world and represent USA and carry on the many great traditions internationally.
Overall this is a incredible time for our sport. A time of building, growing, providing more and more opportunity within our great game. I want to commend and honor the truly amazing Veterans of our sport who have had to make this very tough decision. I am your biggest fan and have nothing but great respect for each and every one of you. You and the many others within our game are carrying the torch and will continue to do remarkable things. For this I know! Thank YOU for your dedication, love for our game, immeasurable sacrifices, and being You! To Watley, Mendoza, Osterman, Lappin, Lowe, Duran, Abbott, Galindo, and many more, I love each of you like a sister and will be your biggest supporter whenever you are on or off the field, in the Japan Softball League, in the NPF, or in Red, White, & Blue. Thank you for your commitment to our sport; keep doing great things! I can’t wait to see you in all back in Uniform.
As fans what can we do? We can SUPPORT these women and our sport! Go watch these women play, we have to put our money where our mouth is. We have to fill seats. We have to truly support our sport. When our sport is on TV, we must tune in. We must support the sponsors and companies who support our game. The owners of the NPF have invested a ton of money for the NPF to continue. Please come out and watch the best softball in the world!
Here are the websites
Thank you to all who have supported, played, invested, and love our game. Here’s to a better than ever year- 2011!
Dreaming & Believing in a Bright Future for Our Sport, Softball!