Akron Racers outfielder AJ Andrews made history recently when she became the first woman to ever receive the Rawlings Gold Glove. Not only is this an honor, it is a huge step for women athletics.
After a stellar career at LSU, AJ was drafted by the Chicago Bandits. AJ struggled to find playing time on the talented Bandits of 2015, but she made the most of her playing time. In addition to four stolen bases and eight runs scored, she made some outstanding plays in the outfield.
In the offseason, she was traded to the Racers for veteran shortstop Jill Barrett. The trade seems to have worked out well for all involved. AJ had 15 stolen bases, 30 hits, 24 runs scored, 7 doubles and 10 RBI. She also played some decent defense.
That last part was sarcasm. AJ played awesome defense. She played so good that she was awarded the first ever Rawlings Gold Glove given to an NPF player.
Rawlings instituted the award fror the 2016 season. Only one Gold Glove was awarded for the entire NPF. AJ should be proud.
Hopefully, down the line, Rawlings will expand the Gold Gloves to every position in the NPF. These ladies are talented and deserve every bit of recognition they get. As cool as it is for AJ to have the Gold Glove award, how wonderful would it be to see a Gold Glove team of NPF layers?
AJ will always be remembered as the first (and she very well could win more). It is a big step for women softball players and women athletes in general. Earlier this year, Monica Abbott made history with a big contract. Now AJ carved her name in the record books. The NPF is getting more recognition and that is a great thing.
Congratulations to AJ. It is an award well-deserved. It has been a pleasure watching her play.
A.J. Andrews and me in Rosemont, IL-Summer 2015.