After an outstanding collegiate career at Auburn, Jade Rhodes signed with the Pennsylvania Rebellion in the NPF. She joined the Scrapyard Dawgs in 2017 and signed with the Cleveland Comets this season. The slick fielding 1st baseman is also the daughter of former MLB pitcher Arthur Rhodes.
The Comets finished the 2018 season in last place with a record of 10-38. There wasn't much celebrating for fans, but Jade did provide a source of pride, when it was announced she won the Rawlings Gold Glove award. She is just the 3rd such winner of that award (along with AJ Andrews and Chelsea Goodacre).
Obviously any award from being the best is quite an accomplishment, but the Rawlings Gold Glove is especially significant, because only one player in the whole league wins it (unlike in the MLB when every position in each league wins a Gold Glove). Despite Sammy Marshall of the Bandits being a finalist, I am very happy for Jade. It's certainly a significant achievement for her.
Aside from the personal importance, the Rawlings Gold Glove is a giant step for the NPF as a whole. It's a sign of recognition from Rawlings. The NPF is important enough to bestow such an honor.
It's also a big step for women's athletics. I have championed that cause for a while. These ladies are just as athletic and work just as hard as any man and they get paid a lot less (but that's another story). It's great to see this award expanded to include an NPF player. My hope (and that of NPF fans everywhere) is that the award will eventually be given to each position in the NPF,. but for now, I applaud the progress.
For her part, Jade is a quick-handed smooth 1st baseman. She is also a class act. While I am sure she is proud of the award, having to be part of a meet and greet, while two other teams play for the title had to be a bit of a letdown, but she was positive all throughout the night.
Congratulations to Jade, the Comets and the NPF. I think it is a sign of more good things to come.
Jade Rhodes and me in Rosemont, IL-August 2018.