OKLAHOMA CITY –Arguably the most recognized softball player in the World, Jennie Finch (La Mirada, Calif.) will hang up her Red, White and Blue uniform as she announced her retirement from USA Softball effective after the 2010 KFC World Cup of Softball presented by Six Flags, announced today by the Amateur Softball Association (ASA) of America. During her 10 year career with USA Softball, Finch has emerged as an icon bringing recognition to the sport on levels transcending the diamond.
“I feel an outpouring of gratitude for so much and for so many that it’s really hard to put into words. Playing USA Softball has been more to me than I ever imagined possible. I could never have dreamed what an amazing ride this has been,” said Finch. “I have been honored with so many amazing opportunities and I have to credit so many people; from the women before me to everyone at USA Softball to the fans and everyone involved in the sport who have made this such a special part of my life.”
Finch entered the USA Softball National Team program in 2001 at the Pan American Qualifier. She has been on the National Team every year since then and in 2004 earned an Olympic Gold Medal in Athens and in 2008 an Olympic Silver Medal in Beijing.
“To be a little girl, wearing USA stuff, watching the Olympics and then to grow older and to compete alongside the women you have admired is unbelievable. It’s so surreal that I was able to play with my role models in Leah (O’Brien-Amico), Lisa (Fernandez) and Laura (Berg.),” said Finch. “There is so much history, pride and tradition with USA Softball and I feel extremely blessed to be a part of it for the last 10 years. It has taken me places I have never dreamt of and given me relationships that go way beyond the softball field. I am thankful to my teammates, coaches, USA Softball, sponsors, my friends and family who have allowed me to not only create my dreams but to live them.”