Today, we turn the focus on the Akron Racers, a defunct team in National Pro Fastpitch. Technically, the Racers morphed into the Cleveland Comets, but basically they are two different teams.With no disrespect to the Comets, I join many in missing the Racers.
General Manager Joey Arrieta was the woman in charge of the Racers. She is a hard-working, passionate, sweet person, who loved the Racers and softball.
I don't know exactly what happened, but after the 2017 season, the Racers were no more and the Comets had emerged. There were a few former Racers on the 2018 Comets. This year, the Comets are a mix of Team Mexico and a few others. There really is no feeling of the Racers.
The NPF continually undergoes changes and all are not for the better, but some are done for survival. There has been talks of reviving the Racers. The NPF would benefit from another team and Racers fans would be very happy. I just don't know how realistic that hope is, but if there is any hope alive, I guess it is a good thing.
A few years ago, I made a road trip to Firestone Stadium in Akron to see the Bandits play. I enjoyed that trip and looked forward to more. Unfortunately, I never got to return to Akron.
One of my favorite Racers was catcher Haley Outen. Outen signed with the Racers after an outstanding career at the University of Houston. Outen was known for her booming home runs on her way to setting the all-time home run and rbi records at Houston. In 2013 she was the Conference USA Player of the Year, leading the league in home runs (16), RBI's (62), slugging percentage (.731), total bases (125) and walks (41). She also has a strong arm and excellent defensive skills.
I don't know much about Outen since she left the NPF. I know she has done some teaching and coaching. She also does private lessons.
The NPF stands at six teams, but there is always room for more. Hopefully, the Racers will return and Joey Arrieta will be back running the team she loves so much. The Racers would have a great rivalry with the Comets right from the start!
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Haley Outen and me in Rosemont, IL-August 2015.