AKRON, OH – In celebration of their upcoming 15th Season of Play, the Akron Racers continue the search through their extensive history to find the 30 players that have made the most profound impact on the organization since its very first team in 1999. The next IMPACT Honoree and the 16th player to be so honored is former second baseman, Veronica Wootson.
“I believe I got lucky when I signed Veronica,” noted GM Joey Arrietta. “Her game was effortless and so smooth and when a play needed to be made, she made it.”
Wootson came to Akron as an undrafted rookie in 2007. Throughout that season the diminutive second baseman made her presence known with a season that netted her the NPF Offensive Player of the Year award and an All-NPF selection, becoming the second player from Akron to win the coveted offensive award.
Wootson led the Racers that summer with 27 runs scored, good enough for second in the NPF. She also tied for the team lead with nine home runs and 29 RBI with fellow IMPACT Honoree Kristen Butler. Her .311 batting average and 46 hits were second on the Racers. Wootson collected 10 stolen bases as well.
While her basic numbers that season were impressive enough, what really stood out, was the fact that, even as a rookie, Wootson shined brightest in the game’s biggest moments. That season, Wootson had seven game-winning hits, including three home runs that put the Racers on top time-after-time.
In addition to being a threat with the bat in her hand and on the base paths, Wootson threw her full effort into making as many defensive plays as possible, often laying her body out to make a stop or catch and extending her tremendous range to the max.
After a spectacular first season Wootson didn’t miss a step in 2008. She once again led the Racers in runs scored with 24, recording 28 hits, five doubles, seven home runs, 17 RBI and five stolen bases.
In her two-year career as a Racer, Wootson’s play placed her seventh in home runs with 16. The former leadoff hitter is also 10th with 51 runs scored on the Racers career leaderboard. Wootson was a .256 career hitter, with nine doubles, two triples, 15 stolen bases and 46 RBI.
While brief, Wootson’s two-year career left a lasting legacy with the way she attacked the game. Her ability to handle the five tools of the game earned her a spot on the Racers impressive list of honorees.
Wootson and the other 29 IMPACT honorees will be recognized this summer, culminating in a weekend-long celebration July 15-17 when the Racers welcome the Dallas Charge to Firestone Stadium for a three-game series. The Racers will welcome back many of their former players to celebrate the history of the franchise, culminating in the pre-game presentation of the 30 IMPACT honorees on July 16th. Each honoree will receive a special commemorative jersey bearing their name and number.
2016 Akron Racers IMPACT Honorees (to date)
1. Carla Brookbank-Schaal 9. Radara McHugh
2. Crystl Bustos 10. Iyhia McMichael
3. Amy Kyler 11. Nicole Trimboli
4. Sarah Dawson 12. Brandee McArthur
5. Nicole Odom 13. Jenny Topping
6. Tobin Echo-Hawk 14. Oli Keohohou
7. Kellyn Tate 15. Kristen Butler
8. Kristin Johnson 16. Veronica Wootson
About the Akron Racers: The Akron Racers, headquartered in Akron, OH, are the oldest existing team in the National Pro Fastpitch (NPF) league, celebrating their 15th Season of Play in 2016. 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.
About National Pro Fastpitch: National Pro Fastpitch is headquartered in Nashville, TN. The league, created to give elite female fast pitch 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 fast pitch softball since 2002. www.profastpitch.com.