Bandits to retire numbers of legends Patton, Williams on Jennie Finch Night
Photo credit: Dina Kwit, courtesy of National Pro Fastpitch
ROSEMONT — The Chicago Bandits will retire the numbers of legendary infielders Amber Patton and Tammy Williams in a ceremony scheduled for August 10 at Parkway Bank Sports Complex, team officials announced Friday morning. The jersey retirements are set to take place on Jennie Finch Night, an annual event hosted by the Bandits in honor of the iconic pitcher.
Patton and Williams donned the black and orange from 2009-15 and enjoyed tremendous success throughout their historic careers in Rosemont. Anchoring the left side of the infield, the duo combined for 558 career games for the Bandits.
Patton, a third baseman and outfielder, hit .305 over her seven seasons while drawing 79 career walks and swiping 49 bases. Williams, who played shortstop, posted a career average of .314 and slugged at a .467 clip across six seasons with the Bandits.
Both players spent their entire professional careers playing for Chicago.
“Amber and Tammy are all-time Bandits greats,” general manager Toni Calmeyn said. “We’re grateful for their dedication to the Bandits organization and proud of their accomplishments on the field. We’re thrilled to be able to retire their numbers in front of a packed home crowd on Jennie Finch Night.”
Patton and Williams both made an immediate impact in the league during their rookie seasons. Patton, drafted 20th overall in the fourth round of the 2009 National Pro Fastpitch Draft, earned All-NPF honors during her first year with the Bandits. Williams, whom Chicago selected with the 10th overall pick, garnered Rookie of the Year recognition. She also captured the 2009 Defensive Player of the Year award and earned a spot on the All-NPF team.
A graduate of DePaul University and former Blue Demons standout, Patton tallied three All-NPF selections throughout her illustrious career. In 2012 she earned Defensive Player of the Year and the Diamond Spikes award for her base-stealing prowess.
Williams, a former Northwestern star, represented the Bandits on the All-NPF team four times and won two total Defensive Player of the Year awards.
“Having my jersey retired is beyond my wildest dreams, let alone with my best friend and legendary shortstop Tammy Williams,” Patton said. “To everyone who has been a part of my career — teammates, coaches, Bandits fans and my family — thank you and go Bandits!”
The Patton-Williams tandem helped guide Chicago to a pair of Cowles Cup championships, as well. The 2011 title run featured standout performances from both Patton and Williams, who combined to hit .345 and score nine runs en route to the franchise’s second championship.
In 2015, Williams led the Bandits’ offense to the third Cowles Cup in team history, recording a robust .385 average throughout the postseason.
“I am sure I join Bandit Nation, along with fans of softball in general, in celebrating this great honor being fittingly bestowed on these two athletes together,” National Pro Fastpitch Commissioner Cheri Kempf said. “Anyone who was fortunate enough to see the Patton-Williams defense for Chicago must realize there has not existed a better left side in professional softball.”
Patton’s No. 12 and Williams’ No. 2 are set to become the fifth and sixth jerseys retired in the 15-year history of the Bandits franchise. The duo joins legendary figures Jennie Finch, Vicky Galindo, Laura Harms and Stacy May-Johnson in the rafters of Parkway Bank Sports Complex.
To purchase tickets for Jennie Finch Night or any other Bandits home game this season, please visit chicagobandits.com or call the box office at 877-722-6348.
ABOUT CHICAGO BANDITS
Since 2005, the Chicago Bandits have been members of the National Pro Fastpitch league. Entering their 15th season as a franchise, the Bandits have provided the Chicago area with high-level softball talent and entertainment en route to capturing six regular-season titles and four Cowles Cup championships, the most recent coming during the 2016 campaign. Located in Rosemont, the Bandits play at Parkway Bank Sports Complex, one of the premier softball facilities in the nation. Parkway Bank Sports Complex is the only stadium in the country built exclusively for a women’s professional sports team. The Bandits provide an opportunity for female fastpitch softball players to further their careers at the professional level and have included legendary figures such as Jennie Finch, Tammy Williams and Stacy May-Johnson.