AKRON, OH – August 14, 2013 – A flurry of activity took over Firestone Stadium early this morning, when the Kenny Crumpton of the Fox 8 News program “Kickin’ It With Kenny” came down from Cleveland to spend a few hours on the diamond with the Racers.
From the time the first segment went live, just minutes before 7:00 a.m., until he left Akron around 9:00 a.m., Crumpton and Fox 8 viewers got an all-around taste of Racers softball, from watching the team run fielding drills to rise ball demonstrations from Rachele Fico to Kelley Montalvo’s endless entusiasm throughout the entire show and her shoutout to her mother as she and Crumpton chatted on the air. Racers co-owner and general manager Joey Arrietta said the team personally impressed Crumpton with their passionate play and professional atmosphere.
“He was totally amazed with the skills and what he saw here and really the unique opportunity we have here at Firestone Stadium for people to watch this game,” Arrietta said.
Towards the end of the show, Crumpton stepped into the batter’s box to take a few batting practice swings off of Racers Field Manager Ryan Phillips. Crumpton laughed as he described how bad he looked in the box. “I've been working really hard on my golf swing, and my golfing instructor spent five years to take my softball swing out, and so now I get in here and I'm like, I couldn't even look at the ball,” he said. “It was hilarious, and this was just BP. It wasn't the 72 mile per hour fastball. [Phillips] was just tossing them out and I could barely touch it. It was a lot of fun.”
Crumpton and the show visited the Racers four years ago, back in 2009, and said his level of respect and admiration for the players and for the team has simply grown since then. “I’ve always loved the Racers,” he said. “Every one of them is super duper great. They’re great human beings. This is the Super Bowl for them, for professional softball. So we’re talking Super Bowl players.”
After the show’s conclusion, Arrietta stressed the importance of expanding the reach of the Racers, especially outside of Akron and into Cleveland, and the role that the appearance on “Kickin’ It With Kenny” plays in that expansion. “It absolutely means everything, not just for the Racers but for the league itself, just to get the professional game in front of another audience,” she said.
The Racers are scheduled to begin their final homestand of the regular season tomorrow evening, Thursday, August 15 at 7:05 p.m. against the NY/NJ Comets. The series runs through Sunday, August 18, and great seats are still available for all four games. Tickets can be purchased either online at www.akronracers.org or by calling the ticket office at (330) 376-8188.
A portion of this morning’s “Kickin’ It With Kenny” broadcast featuring the Racers can be found here: http://fox8.com/2013/08/14/kenny-kicks-it-with-the-akron-racers/.
About the Akron Racers: The Akron Racers, headquartered in Akron, OH, are the oldest existing team in the National Pro Fastpitch (NPF) league. The Racers competed in the Women's Pro Softball League (WPSL) for two seasons in 1999 and 2000 and in the NPF since 2004. Historic Firestone Stadium is home to the Racers and numerous amateur events at all levels of play. The Racers kick off their 12th season of play in 2013.
About National Pro Fastpitch: National Pro Fastpitch is headquartered in Nashville, TN. The league, created to give elite female fastpitch players the opportunity to pursue a professional career in their chosen sport, has operated since 1997 under the names of Women’s Pro Fastpitch (WPF) and Women’s Pro Softball League (WPSL). NPF is the Official Development Partner of Major League Baseball in the category of women’s fastpitch softball since 2002.
--- RACERS ---
Written by Nina Zimmerman for the Akron Racers