Tag: AAGPBL

Rachel Folden – Using a Coaching Mindset of Love

Rachel Folden is a minor league Hitting Coach in professional baseball, the first female to hold such a position in her organization. Folden also launched EliteFastpitch.tv, the most comprehensive hitting drill library available for softball players. Now players from around the world can train with Rachel Folden and her team at Folden Fastpitch. Folden Fastpitch also partners with Elite Baseball Training to provide hitting consultation for baseball and softball teams at the professional, college, high school and travel ball level. Folden and her team put on numerous camps and clinics across the country, primarily in the skills of hitting and catching.

A former professional softball player in the NPF (National Pro Fastpitch), Folden retired after the 2012 season, after 5 years in the NPF. Folden played for two professional teams, the Carolina Diamonds in 2012, and the Chicago Bandits from 2008-2012. She finished her career with 41 home runs, 122 RBI, 101 walks, and 28 doubles, which are all-time top 10 marks. She was the Rookie of the Year in 2008, a 4-time All-NPF Catcher, and the 2011 Offensive Player of the Year. She won two NPF Championships with the Bandits in 2008 and 2011.

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Erin Pappas – Ballplayer, Nature Lover, Single Mom, and Hero

Erin and I first connected through social media back in 2016 during the time that I was building my network of female baseball players and advocates of women and girls playing baseball.  We immediately connected because she was also an avid Red Sox fan.  Like many of the women that I was connecting with at that time, she had participated in the first ever Boston Red Sox Women’s Fantasy Camp.

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Ryan Woodward – How a trip to Reading, PA changed his Life

Ryan is a board member of the International Women’s Baseball Center (IWBC).  We first connected back in 2016 when my old organization, the BIG Vision Foundation, in partnership with the IWBC sponsored the Ruth Hartman Memorial Girl’s Baseball Festival.

At the time, Ryan was living in Wilmington, Delaware and wasn’t a member of the IWBC board yet.  He wasn’t sure if he really should to drive up to check out the event.  After some convincing from his friend, Debbie Pierson, he did go, and it turned out to literally be a life changing event for him.

A few weeks later, he received a call from IWBC president, Kat Williams asking him to serve on the organizations board.  He accepted, and the rest is history.  Ryan was the brainchild of the IWBC’s Women in Baseball Week and has been an active member of the board since he joined the organization.

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Rocky McCann – Reconnecting with another Silver Bullet

This was the last podcast that I was able to do while Sandy and I were at the BFA Nationals in Aberdeen, Maryland.  She puts the explanation point on the ten amazing women that I was able to sit down with and talk to at that event.

Rocky is the third former Colorado Silver Bullet as well as the third member of Evolution Girl’s Baseball that I was able to sit down and talk with.

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Beth Greenwood – Wisdom Beyond Her Years

Beth and I first met back in 2018 when she was on a road trip from New England to Pittsburgh with mutual friends of ours, Erin Pappas and Jacque Reynolds to participate in an women’s baseball event that the Pirates were sponsoring.  On the way through, they stopped by the sports complex that I was managing at the time just outside of Reading, Pennsylvania.

It was a great visit, and Beth and I, who would have been 18 at the time and just out of high school, connected on Facebook.  Since then, I have been able to follow her journey as she became one of only seven young women to be rostered on an NCAA baseball team this past spring.

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Denae Benites – Growing with the BFA Nationals

Denae is a member of the Evolution Girl’s Baseball 19-U program as well as a member of the US Women’s National Baseball team that won the gold medal in Mexico in 2019.

Still on location at the Baseball for All Nationals, Denae has been participating in the BFA National tournament since 2016 when she played in the 2nd annual event in San Francisco.  Even at a young age, Denae understands the importance of paving the way and helping to create more opportunities for the young girl’s that will be following behind her.

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Jeneane Lesko – Another Legend Helping the Next Generation

I went to Spring Training in Battle Creek, Michigan and was picked up by the Chicks as a left-handed pitcher.  I actually had no pitching experience and had never played organized baseball.  In my home town of Lakeview, Ohio, I had practiced baseball with our school team all through high school, but of course, they would not let me play in the games.  I was also the batgirl for our town team of men and practiced with them and went to all the games.  I loved the game and had a strong arm.

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Merrie Fidler – A Master’s Thesis Leads to so much more

Merrie is also a published author.  She published the book, The Origins and History of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League in 2006.  The book was originally her master’s thesis, and as she became more involved with the players association, several of the former players were so impressed with her work, that they convinced her to get it published.  Merrie donates a large portion of the proceeds from her book to the players association.

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Maybelle Blair & Shirley Burkovich – Two Trailblazers Still Going Strong

Maybelle and Shirley were former players in the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League (AAGPBL), the league in which the movie, A League of Their Own was based on.

I originally met them back in 2016, when I was still with the BIG Vision Foundation.  We partnered with the International Women’s Baseball Center (IWBC), in which Maybelle and Shirley serve as board members, to conduct the Ruth Hartman Memorial Girl’s Baseball Festival.

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