Wednesday, September 29, 2021

On the Beat With Cat Osterman (and Thank you Cat!)

Cat Osterman has pitched her last professional game. Last season's Athletes Unlimited Softball champ, who made the announcement a while back, finished her career Monday, exiting to a thunderous response from the appreciative fans.

Yesterday, Cat went to social media to bid farewell. 

Dear Softball,

It’s time this intimate relationship we’ve had ends. It’s not you… it’s me. You’ve had my heart for 28 years, and now I need it back, to invest it elsewhere. New experiences, my family, and cheering on everyone else who loves you. Let’s be real, this hasn’t a monogamous relationship! I share you with millions of others! 

You’ve given me a second & third chance. You accepted and understood my change of heart and mind, while granting me so many amazing moments. And more importantly, you gave me so many amazing people.

This last chapter taught me what pure joy was. You allowed me to grow in so many ways with incredible woman. You granted me things I didn’t even know I needed. You helped me show a young girl what hard work, dedication and love can add up to, and for all this I’m indebted to you.

You let me go out on a high, surrounded by so many I cherish and I’m grateful. It was perfect. But still, I need to move on.

Our tango on the field has ended, but I won’t be too far away. I’ll share all you’ve taught me with anyone and everyone. I’ll help others love you the way I have, and I’ll be cheering loudly as you grow and give my peers continuous challenges and successes. 

For the last time as an athlete, I say Goodbye to you.

- #38 formerly #8

Ever the class act, Cat ends her career by giving back a little more to her fans.

Others can write about all of Cat's accomplishments throughout her career. Cat's achievements can fill pages. I'm going to relay some personal reflections on Cat.

As a fan of women's sports, particularly softball, I followed Cat's career from her time at the University of Texas. When I started covering the National Pro Fastpitch Chicago Bandits, I conducted individual interviews with the Bandits. When the USSSA Pride came to Rosemont, I requested an interview with Cat. I didn't figure I would get one, but Cat graciously gave me her time. As the most in-demand athlete not with the Bandits, I'm sure Cat had a lot of other interview requests and I couldn't have faulted her if she declined, but she didn't.

Years later, when Team USA came to Rosemont to prepare for the Olympics, I again requested an interview with Cat and again did not expect it t happen. Once again, Cat gave me her time, despite the many requests.

Fast forward to this season at AU, Cat remained in demand, but she took part in many press sessions and meet-and-greets with fans. In fact, at the last weekend series, the line for Cat was cut off at one point, but Cat agreed to sign autographs and take pictures for another 30 minutes.

I have never seen athletes promote growing the sport as much as I have seen softball players do. Cat walks that walk better than anyone. Having a true great of the game giving so much of herself not only brings in more fans, it encourages other players to follow her lead.\

It has been an immense pleasure following and covering her career. It has been even a bigger thrill knowing Cat. She truly is a class act  on and off the field to everyone.

Thank you, Cat, for everything you have done. I sincerely hope our paths cross in the future. You might be retired, but I know you won't stray far from the softball field.

Cat's final media session can be found at On the Beat With Cat Osterman of Athletes Unlimited. Also, check for more info on all AU Sports.

1 comment:

Parkers said...

Such a great lady! The softball league will miss her as well as all of her fans! Best wishes to her!