As I wrote yesterday, in covering the Chicago Bandits and the National Pro Fastpitch, I have met a lot of world-class athletes and outstanding people. With the Scrapyard Dawgs in town, one tall, lanky pitcher brings back great memories.
After starring at the University of Tennessee, Monica Abbott pitched for Team USA in 2006, before joining the NPF in 2007. She pitched for 3 teams over 3 seasons before joining the Bandits, where she worked her magic for 5 seasons. After the 2015 season, Monica signed a huge contract with the Dawgs.
Monica is truly one of the greatest softball pitchers of all time. She is 192-39 with an ERA of 1.03 during her NPF career. Those numbers are staggering. She allows just over a run per game.
It is no stretch to say she is like Michael Jordan or Wayne Gretzky. Maybe fellow Tennessee alum Peyton Manning would be a better comparison. It is a real pleasure watching her pitch. Her abilities are off the charts, but I also like the way she thinks and competes. You can see her mind working as she pitches. Monica is a bulldog.
Fans loved her here and justifiably so. Aside from her stats, Monica was always good with the fans, too. Even though she was in high demand, she always had time for my interviews and I am grateful for that.
More than grateful, I am actually in awe sometimes that I interviewed Monica. Anytime I interview someone of Monica's stature, it always is one for the resume.
These kind of elite athletes do not come around often. To have one in Chicago, one that I covered, will always be one of my favorite experiences. It is still sad to see her in the red of the Dawgs, but it is always a thrill watching her pitch.
Monica Abbott and me in Rosemont, IL-July 2015.