Chicago Bandits Shut Down Operations After National Pro Fastpitch League Does Same

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Chicago Bandits and Parkway Bank Sports Complex in Rosemont, Illinois (SOURCE: Google Street view image captured October 2018 ©2021)
Chicago Bandits and Parkway Bank Sports Complex in Rosemont, Illinois (SOURCE: Google Street view image captured October 2018 ©2021).

The National Pro Fastpitch (NPF) league on Sunday, August 1, 2021 officially announced it is suspending operations effective immediately. The league had previously cancelled the 2020 and 2021 seasons.

Rosemont’s hometown Chicago Bandits are also shutting down operations. The NPF was the premier softball league in the United States, and there were no other viable options to continue playing in another league involving a city-based model.

The Chicago Bandits, who played fastpitch softball at Parkway Bank Sports Complex in Rosemont, were founded in 2004 and played their first season in 2005, producing a 41-7 record. The Bandits also won regular season championships in 2005, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2013 and 2019. The Bandits were 448-243 overall from 2005-19. Their last game was an 8-2 loss to USSSA Pride in game three of the NPF Championship Series Aug. 17, 2019.

When the Chicago Bandits were the 2019 regular season champions, the NPF league named the Bandits coaching staff the Coaching Staff of the Year.

Chicago Bandits player earned many other awards the final NPF season in 2019 …

Amanda Chidester, Player of the Year, Best Offensive Performance and Home Run Champion

Abbey Cheek, Rookie of the Year honors

Amanda Chidester, Abby Ramirez, Hannah Flippen, Brenna Moss, Aleshia Ocasio, Rachele Fico, Abbey Cheek and Gwen Svekis all earned All-NPF honors in 2019

The most well-known Chicago Bandits player is pitcher Jennie Finch, who played for the Chicago Bandits from 2005 to 2010. Finch leads the NPF league in career WHIP or Walk plus Hits per Inning Pitched [= (Walks + Hits)/Innings Pitched), and is among the top-10 all-time in strikeouts, ERA, strikeout ratio and fielding percentage.

Athletes Unlimited will take over at Parkway Bank Sports Complex. Cheri Kempf, Commissioner of the National Pro Fastpitch (NPF) league is working to assure that Athletes Unlimited will include softball.

Athletes Unlimited has launched leagues for softball, volleyball and lacrosse. Initial plans involve sports leagues where there are no fixed teams and no fixed cities — abandoning the traditional city-based model for professional sports teams.

If plans hold up, and the COVID-19 pandemic doesn’t interfere, the stadium at Parkway Bank Sports Complex in Rosemont will also host youth games and high school games.



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