Athletes Unlimited Debut Season

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Gabby Moreno, Writer

Professional softball is back and better than ever this year thanks to the new league, Athletes Unlimited. On March 3rd, 2020, prior to the shutdown of the country due to Covid-19, Athletes Unlimited announced that they would be creating a professional softball league. Unfortunately, due to the pandemic, the league had to delay it’s opening and not allow fans to watch the games in person, but on August 29th, the league hosted its first game of the season. 

This league is not like a normal professional sport league, such as the NFL or the NBA, for it is almost like a fantasy league. With each play that a player makes, a team win, etc., the player will receive points. For example, a single would be +10 points, a homerun would be +40 points, and a caught stealing would be -10 points. There are also 3 MVPs voted at the end of each game, and the MVP 1 would receive +60 points, MVP 2 would receive +40 points, and MVP 3 would receive +20 points. At the end of each week, the four players with the most points become a captain for a team, and they get to draft which players they want on their team. The league decided to run this way instead of keeping track of wins and losses because they believed that it would help boost the equality of teams and celebrate the individuals achievements. At the end of the season, the player with the most points will be named the Athletes Unlimited Softball Champion.

Out of the 57 athletes in the league, 37 year old Cat Osterman was named champion with a total of 2,408 points. Osterman attended and played for the University of Texas from 2004-2007. She, also, played in the 2004 and 2008 Summer Olympics, winning the gold medal in 2004. She is well known in the name of softball and she is a true icon. Osterman has won many different awards in her past, and now she will be adding the title of Athletes Unlimited Softball Champion under her belt as well. 

Many believe that this league is going to be the future of softball and that they will keep track of points this new way instead of reverting back to the traditional way of wins and loses. Many athletes participating in this league have played in the National Pro Fastpitch league, but due to the pandemic, the NPF was shut down for the entire 2020 season. There has, also, been some controversy with the NPF league. Back in June of 2020, NPF team “Scrap Yard Dawgs” made a remark about standing for the national anthem during a time of intense controversy. Many players and fan lost respect of the league after that tweet was made, so the Athletes Unlimited league came at just the right time for these athletes to continue to play they sport they love in under these strange circumstances.