Jennie Finch retiring from softball next month

Olympic gold medalist Jennie Finch plans to retire next month and bring an end to a 10-year career in which she helped the sport blossom in the United States.

BY JUSTIN HARPER, Staff Writer, Modified: July 21, 2010 at 2:28 pm •  Published: July 20, 2010

Finch earned glory first for her work in the circle. But she also has been an offensive force at the plate and more recently become an everyday player by playing first base. However, the 6-1 blonde was the first softball player to gain iconic status away from the field, making appearances on television shows such as Late Night with David Letterman, Celebrity Apprentice. She’s also been featured in the Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition and numerous print and commercial ads.

Finch said the main factors in her decision to retire were her son Ace, born in 2006, and husband Casey Daigle.

“I’d like to have more kids and extend our family,” she said. “And I feel like I’ll have the time to be able to do more to continue to grow this sport, through camps and other ways.”

Taking softball to greater heights is something she’s already achieved.

“Jennie has meant so much to the sport and the growth of it,” said ASA executive director Ron Radigonda. “She has brought it to a whole new level of recognition as a worldwide sport. She has been instrumental in growing the sport on the field as a pitcher, player and hitter, but also as a person.”