NEW YORK – Akron Racers right fielder A.J. Andrews continues to “relish” her barrier breaking achievement and the well-deserved recognition it is gaining for herself, softball and women’s sports in general.
Since becoming the first woman to win a Rawlings Gold Glove in the award’s 68-year history at the NPF’s annual awards banquet in August, Andrews has been recognized by the NPF, by her alma mater Louisiana State University and by Akron’s MLB neighbor to the north, the Cleveland Indians.
Last Friday (November 11), Andrews was recognized again at the Rawlings Gold Glove Dinner in New York City, alongside MLB’s winners for the year. When accepting her award, Andrews received a rousing standing ovation from those in attendance, including some of baseball’s brightest stars and living legends. Along with Andrews, Hall of Famer Brooks Robinson, who won the organization’s lifetime achievement award and 10-time Rawlings Gold Glove winner Al Kaline, who was inducted into the Rawlings Gold Glove Award Hall of Fame, were the only players to receive standing ovations on the night.
“The significance is immeasurable, honestly. Just the strides softball is taking in getting acknowledgement and recognition,” Andrews told MLB.com at the Awards Dinner. “I’m really excited to be that pioneer and to pave the way for girls to have Rawlings Gold Gloves. The honor is awesome and a great accomplishment.”
The notoriety that Andrews’ achievement gained has only grown in the past week with major media outlets like ESPN, MLB and Forbes magazine chronicling the event in well-received pieces.
The attention only grew in the scope of social media as posts on Facebook and Twitter about the event from the aforementioned media members as well as Rawlings, NPF, the Racers and LSU have made their way around the country. Posts about Andrews at the award dinner on Facebook and Twitter have been liked roughly 7,000 times, while they have been shared or re-tweeted nearly 1,000 times, just from the original source of information.
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 (NPF)
National Pro Fastpitch (NPF), an Official Development Partner of Major League Baseball since 2002, provides elite female athletes with an opportunity to pursue a professional career in diamond sports beyond their collegiate success. The 2016 NPF season will be televised on CBS Sports Network. Coverage includes the NPF College Draft presented by Bownet on Thurs., April 14, followed by 23 regular-season games, a Championship Series Preview Special and the 2016 NPF Championship series. The NPF recently announced that the Scrap Yard Dawgs, located in The Woodlands, Texas, will join the Akron Racers, Chicago Bandits, Dallas Charge, Pennsylvania Rebellion and USSSA Florida Pride for the 2016 season.
National Pro Fastpitch players hail from the U.S., Australia, Canada, Japan, the Netherlands and New Zealand, representing the most accomplished and talented athletes in the sport of women’s softball.
Note to Media
Photos and b-roll of players is available. Interviews with the league commissioner are welcomed, and top players from each team are accessible immediately. If you’re interested in pursuing story angles about professional softball for women, please don’t hesitate to contact us