Future Watch: Jennie Finch Baseball Cards

Future Watch: Jennie Finch Baseball Cards – When Time Magazine says you are the most famous softball player in history that’s saying a lot. Jennie Finch earned that recognition due to hard work and dedication to her craft. That moniker wasn’t just handed to her.

Finch’s notoriety started to hit at University of Arizona where she was their ace pitcher. In her freshman season, she threw her first NCAA no-hitter during the tournament on May 21st vs. the Texas State Bobcats.

She began her sophomore season with a 21-consecutive game-winning streak. Finch lost a couple games and then started a new streak ending the season at 8-0, finishing 29-2 on the season. She threw three no-hitters that season and led her team in home runs as well. She was named a 2000 National Fast Pitch Coaches Association First-Team All-American and First-Team All-Pac 10.

As a junior, Finch finished the season with an earned run average of 0.54, and 32 wins, which established a new NCAA record that still stands. Finch also had a 31-scoreless innings streak that season, while her offense was highlighted in an 11-1 victory over the Oregon Ducks. In that contest, Finch hit two home runs amid a nine RBI performance which is tied for third all-time in NCAA history. Her pitching is always talked about but her hitting isn’t given the credit it deserves. She ended that season with a National Championship, and a series MVP Award.

In 2004, she won a gold medal at the Athens Summer Olympics. Finch shutout Italy and Canada and finished the tournament with a 2-0 record. In the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, China, she and her squad walked away with silver medals, as Team USA lost to Japan in the final.

Finch would throw her fastball at 65 MPH from slightly less than 43 feet away with no elevation. A Major League pitcher’s mound is 60 feet, six inches away. Run the math and you see that her fastball would have the same velocity as a low 90’s blitzer does in an MLB game.

As a guest coach in the 2004 Pepsi All-Star softball game, Finch struck out Albert Pujols pregame with a heater on a 3-2 count. Brian Giles struck out, and so did Mike Piazza on three pitches. Having played competitive fast-pitch softball myself, the ball comes in on you fast, and you don’t have time for a big home run swing unless you have exceptional bat speed. You can see the battle with Pujols below:

Finch played for the Chicago Bandits of National Pro Fastpitch in 2009 and went 7-2 with two saves. She struck out 61 and hit three home runs. At the Ballpark Village in Rosemont, there is a street called Jennie Finch Way.

Now retired from active competition, Finch is training the women’s softball stars of tomorrow through her camps. She is still highly regarded by the baseball card community and has appeared in several sets over the years.

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Russ Cohen