Women’s History Month: Jennie Finch (Softball)
Added by Gregg Snyder on March 2, 2012.
The Double G Sports Women’s History Month project continues with one of the most recognizable athletes of all-time. When one thinks of women’s sports or softball, Jennie Finch is usually the first name that comes to mind. Jennie is one of those rare female athletes that are known for their talent and play on the field as much as her looks off the field. Jennie was nice enough to talk with Double G Sports for a few minutes about softball and women’s sports in general.
How did you get involved with The Cust Academy in opening your Jennie Finch Softball Academy and starting Diamond Nation? What made you pick NJ as a site?
Jack Cust Jr. approached me, showed me the plans and asked if I would be interested. I immediately said yes. When I started playing, the West Coast dominated softball for the most part. This was an awesome opportunity to help grow the game on the East Coast and give young athletes a place for year round training.
How does the softball talent in NY/NJ compare to the rest of the country?
It’s proving no matter where you are located, if you want it bad enough the sky is the limit. I don’t think location really has anything to do with it anymore.
What do you think the state of women’s softball is now, compared to when you started playing?
It has grown tremendously, not just in the US but also internationally. In my freshman year of college one game was televised nationally. By my senior year all our games were televised. The Olympics was a great push for women’s softball as well.
Think she can strike you out? I'd bet on it.
Your professional career is behind you. How have you remained active in the sport?
I have my own camps and clinics. I’m also on the Advisory Board for the National Women’s Fast Pitch League.
You are a role model and inspiration to so many young athletes. Who were your inspirations growing up with interest in softball?
One would certainly be Lisa Fernandez. She was more than a pitcher, she was also one of the best hitters and fielders in the game. Lisa really helped pave the way for the game.
Do you think women’s sports in general get enough respect?
I think there is room to grow, especially on the professional level. The pro league for softball has helped the game, but there is always room for growth.
Looking back, what is the proudest moment of your career?
Standing on the gold medal podium in 2004. To be able to do that with your role models was quite a thrill and having the opportunity to represent your country in the Olympics was an amazing feeling.
On and off the field, Jennie will always grab your attention.
We have seen you strike out major league ballplayers, does it ever make you think about what it would be like to play in the MLB?
Not really. When I was younger of course that was my goal but I quickly realized there wasn’t much of an opportunity for a female to make it in that league. Fortunately I had the opportunity of playing softball nationally and professionally. Young girls are now able to look up to softball players.
How can we improve women’s sports?
The skills and product are there. Putting marketing dollars behind it is what’s needed for it to improve. But like I said, the product is definitely there.
There are limited pro softball opportunities; do you see the Pro Fast Pitch League growing any time soon?
I hope so. That’s the goal. We realized at first it grew too fast but the four teams we currently have are now very stable. The Chicago Bandits just got their own facility. We need media support which will help to build a fan base and get players stories out there.
- Jennie has participated in a couple Celebrity Softball games during the MLB All-Star breaks
You can follow Jennie on Twitter @jfinch27. If you are interested in attending any of Jennie’s camps throughout the country or just reading more info on her, visit www.jenniefinch.com
Previous Women’s History Month Interviews:
Tina Cervasio (MSG Reporter for Knicks and Red Bulls)