Olympic pitcher Jennie Finch is aiming for the next generation of softball players.
She’ll travel to five cities this spring and summer as the youth softball ambassador for Major League Baseball. The commissioner’s office announced Wednesday that she’ll join Cal Ripken Jr. and Ken Griffey Jr. as youth ambassadors for softball and baseball.
Finch says she’s excited to work on the grass-roots level to let “girls know that MLB is passionate and truly cares about the sport of softball.”
The 36-year-old Finch pitched for U.S. teams that won an Olympic gold medal in 2004 and silver in 2008. She said some of her Olympic teammates played Little League baseball before switching to softball.
Finch will take part in a girls’ baseball tournament April 14-16 in Compton, California, the Softball Breakthrough Series June 11-15 in Oklahoma City and the Play Ball events July 6-10 during All-Star week in Miami.
At the Breakthrough Series in Houston last year, girls in underserved communities had the opportunity to showcase their skills in front of college coaches and some received letters of interest, Finch said.
“It’s 100 degrees in Houston in middle of the day, it was hotter than all get out,” she said. “The girls on their water break were asking us for extra groundballs, for more work.