Kristyn Sandberg was major involved in one of the highlights of my five seasons of covering the Chicago Bandits. I am sure the moment left a bigger impact on me than her. Usually a catcher, Kristyn was the batting practice pitcher when I stepped into the box late last season.
Thanks to Director of Game Day Operations Jourdan Skirha, I was given an opportunity to take batting practice after the Bandits finished their usual session. It didn't surprise me to see Kristyn as the pitcher, because I had previously seen her pitch bp. Honestly, I didn't care who pitched. I was just excited to step in the box.
While I didn't fare too well, I did manage to hit a few liners to right. This would indicate I was swinging late (as in too slow of a swing), but again I didn't care. This was a thrill and I soaked in every moment.
This is just one of the several game day activities the Bandits offer. To be honest, most of the batting practice sessions with fans involve much younger batters than me (as in kids), but I don't think there is an age limit. There are also team pictures, shagging fly balls and more. You can check ChicagoBandits.com for all of the info.
I appreciate Kristyn pitching to me.Although a bit out of the norm, I am glad she understood I just wanted the experience.
In her 8th season, Kristyn is the team veteran, but she shows no signs of slowing down. Last season, she was an ALL-NPF team selection. She had a career high in home runs with 10 and led the Bandits in rbi's with 31.
A great player at Georgia, Kristyen was drafted fifth overall in the second round of the 2012 NPF Draft by the USSSA Pride. She also played for the Pennsylvania Rebellion and the Texas Charge, before joining the Bandits for the 2018 season.
As a bit of trivia, Kristyn is not related to Chicago Cubs Hall of Famer Ryne Sandberg, despite sharing his number. too. The #23 is a family thing for Kristyn.
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Kristyn Sandberg and me in Rosemont, IL-July 2018.