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Caitlin Lowe’s Quiet Goodbye to the NPF

Caitlin Lowe, who played 6 seasons with the Pride, announces her retirement from the NPF

Caitlin Lowe, who played 6 seasons with the Pride, announces her retirement from the NPF

Kissimmee, FL–February 24, 2015–As we approach the 2015 National Pro Fastpitch (NPF) season, six year USSSA Florida Pride veteran Caitlin Lowe has decided to announce her retirement from the NPF.

Lowe played every one of her professional innings with the USSSA Pride. In her six seasons, she added three NPF regular season championships, three NPF Championship Series titles, and a 2012 NPF Player of the Year title to a resume that already included four NCAA All-American awards, two NCAA National Championships and an Olympic silver medal.

Caitlin decided to announce her retirement in the same way she’s played the game the past 24 years—with extreme passion and respect for the game. There were no press conferences, farewell tours or public sendoffs. Instead, Caitlin decided to write a letter to her family, fans, teammates, and the entire softball community about what the past 24 years of playing softball have meant to her.

­­­­­__________________________________

My Goodbye

Today is the day I say goodbye to a huge part of my life.

I quietly stepped on to a field for the first time at 6 years old. It was back in the days of long white pants and scrunched socks, the kind with the built-in stirrups. My little mermaid underwear showed right through those pants—parents didn’t tell us that back then because it was just too cute to pass up. I wore white cleats because my dad said they made me run faster. I STILL wear white cleats because they DO make me run faster. I would put puffy paint on my helmet because he said it was intimidating. I wanted to run so fast that my helmet fell off. I was obsessed. I fell in love with a game at the age of 6 and it has had my heart ever since.

The greatest thing about our sport is that it truly is a game of life. The best advice I could possibly give to the current softball world is to RESPECT THE GAME. You get what you put into it. I think that’s why I fell so hard. If you respect the game in all its glory, if you do it with passion, then it will pay you back in ways you could never even imagine. Be a good teammate. There are a lot of selfish players out there who get lost in stats, lost in results, lost in themselves. Great players and great teams always see the bigger picture. We play a team sport, a selfless sport, a pure sport. Robyn Benicasa, a world champion racer once said, “You don’t inspire your teammates by showing them how amazing you are. You inspire your teammates by showing them how amazing THEY are.” So rip your heart out and give it to this game, give it to your teammates, give it to your coaches. When you can learn to do that, you will see that they will do the same for you. And man will you get to experience something special.

I do want to say thank you to everyone who has supported me throughout the years. My family has been by my side through it all and they will always be my biggest fans on and off the field. Thanks to my Grandma Judy for the countless turkey sandwiches on game days and to my grandpa who I know still has the best seat in the house up in heaven (probably still wearing my jersey). Thanks to my mom and dad for not just being my coaches but my parents, regardless of any game outcome. Thank you to my coaches, especially Coach Candrea, for helping me through the game of life. Thank you to Under Armour, Wilson/DeMarini, and my agent Rob who not only supported me, but who empower the female athlete daily. Thank you to my owner Don DeDonatis who kept my dream alive long past college. Thank you to my wonderful fiancé who without hesitation told me to play as long as I can. And last but not least, thank you to my amazing teammates who started as teammates, became friends, and now will forever be my family. I love you all so much.

And with that, I choose to say goodbye to my playing days the same way I said hello—quietly. I wanted to do it quietly because that’s just how I operate. This game doesn’t owe me anything, it’s pretty much the other way around. As Joe Torre said in his Hall of Fame speech when talking about the game of baseball, “This sport is part of the American soul. And it’s ours to borrow. Just for a while. If all of us who love it are doing our jobs, then those who get the game from us will be as proud to be a part of it as we were, and we are.”

Thank you to softball fans and players everywhere. Remember to hustle when nobody is watching, to stay humble, and to never lose sight of that 6 year old version of yourself. Keep leaving it all on the field.

-Caitlin Lowe, #26

 

Caitlin Lowe set the standard for playing the game the right way and leaves all of us in the game, better.

29 Comments

29 Comments

  1. Curt Bowers

    February 24, 2015 at 6:11 pm

    You will be missed . By fans, players, coaches,. I totally enjoyed watching you play the game you loved.

  2. Jocelyn

    February 24, 2015 at 6:32 pm

    Thank you

  3. Charlie Covell

    February 24, 2015 at 6:39 pm

    Thank you Caitlin for many wonderful memories! Best wishes for everything that you do in the future.

  4. Kelley Mills

    February 24, 2015 at 7:02 pm

    We are going to miss watching you play. My daughter wears your number with pride, knowing that she is following in the footsteps of a truly humble player. She had the chance to meet you last year and we both will always cherish that mornent. Thank you for representing the game so well. Enjoy your retirement!

  5. Michele Brown

    February 24, 2015 at 7:44 pm

    Have been a fan for years, watched her play, my daughter watched her play. Always gracious, continues to be gracious. One of a kind. Certainly someone for the younger players to look up to. Best wishes in all your future endeavors and thank you for many hours of personal enjoyment.

  6. Art Hernandez

    February 24, 2015 at 8:01 pm

    Wow. That’s impressive. Caitlin is not ” just here so she doesn’t get fined” some athletes get it and some suck. Glad my daughter looks up to this one.Thank you #26

  7. Shelley Batson

    February 24, 2015 at 8:01 pm

    Well said, well played and much respected Caitlin Lowe. God bless you and best of luck in your future endeavors!

  8. Tim C.

    February 24, 2015 at 8:40 pm

    Wow! What a poetic epiphet to her amazing career. I look forward to hearing about her success in the future, and expect it to be nothing short of mesmerizing. She has inspired many young girls during her playing career. I hope she will pass her mantra for life and the game along for generations to come! I have enjoyed watching her play every time she put those white cleats on.

  9. Pat Solis

    February 24, 2015 at 9:18 pm

    Thank you for your contribution to women in sports and the game of softball. Your presence on the fields will be greatly missed. You represent the type of athele I want my daughters , Taylor 8 and Lydia 12 , to grow into. We had to pleasure to watch you play for the Pride and get a pic with you the past season while on vacation in Florida. As I coach them this spring, I’ll convey the message in your letter. I wish you the best of luck in your continued journey through life. I’m sure to see you as a correspondent in some capacity as softball needs ambassadors such as yourself. Be well, Pat Solis

  10. Ronald Silverman (@silvermanronmac)

    February 24, 2015 at 10:36 pm

    Enjoyed watching throughout ur college and professional career! Loved ur approach and ur happiness being on the field! Enjoy the rest of ur life! Be safe and stay blessed!

  11. Tim Pollins

    February 24, 2015 at 11:20 pm

    Caitlin will be missed. She’s the most compelling and charismatic player I’ve ever encountered. She’ll thrive at whatever she does. She does everything the right way.

  12. Kent Baird

    February 25, 2015 at 1:14 am

    She is and always was a pro’s pro. She will be missed.

  13. Joanne Buckingham

    February 25, 2015 at 3:00 am

    Wow Catlin! That was phenominal! Congratulations on your retirement from a game you truly love!
    And now…enjoy your new life!
    As a UA softball fan and season ticket holder (20 years), I enjoyed every moment you were on the field! But, most of all…the message you’re sending!
    What a gift you are to softball!!
    Joanne Buckingham

  14. terri

    February 25, 2015 at 4:33 am

    i will miss watching her,she’s a special player and understands the meaning of the game,so rare,to you Caitlin thank you, you will make a difference in the lives of children when they read this, best of luck to you

  15. Celeste Knierim

    February 25, 2015 at 7:32 am

    Very well said and my hope is that all who read it will pass it on and help the next generation of players Respect the Game. Thank you Caitlin

  16. Teresa

    February 25, 2015 at 8:14 am

    I’m standing clapping and tears on my face…you my lady are a class act and inspiration! Beautifully and so truthfully stated. Thank you for sharing yourself and talents with us. I wish you the very best in life.

  17. Rose Appignani Spahr

    February 25, 2015 at 10:43 am

    Time for her coaching career to begin…

  18. meghan trevino

    February 25, 2015 at 11:13 am

    What a beautiful letter and sentiment to the game. It really pushes home why my daughter looks up to you so, so much. She bought a Pride jersey with your name and number several years ago and still today at the age of 16 still wears it PROUDLY.
    Thank you, Caitlin, for the passion, the respect and so many enjoyable moments.

  19. Rick Monson

    February 25, 2015 at 12:34 pm

    Thank you Caitlin for setting an example to all of the young ladies who aspire to play the game well and correctly. You were and are a tremendous ambassador to our sport and your stalking of the outfield grass will be engrained in my memory. Thank you for your late game heroics and your always steady and consistent quality of play. You set the bar high for those who come after you and you have left the sport better than you found it, what more can anyone ask. We will miss your athleticism and enthusiasm but I wish you all the best in your future endeavors.

    Rick Monson, Madison, Wisconsin

  20. Ed Johnson

    February 25, 2015 at 5:39 pm

    You are a great inspiration not only to players, but coaches and fans as well. You are one of the very best to ever play and the game will be less without you.

  21. Carla Finnicum

    February 25, 2015 at 7:03 pm

    Sorry to see you go, you are such an inspiration to young girls everywhere. Thank you and thank you for all the memories, you will be missed! I’m so glad I got to see you play and the chance to meet you

  22. hallandassoc

    February 25, 2015 at 8:37 pm

    Caitlin Lowe is the type of young woman you want your girl to grow up to be like. Respects the sport, herself, her team and her fans. As a father of a collegiate softball player – I know the tireless hours that are necessary to succeed – and she did so at the elite level! I wish her the best of luck in her future endeavors – and if she approaches them as she did softball – she will be unstoppable.

  23. Tim

    February 26, 2015 at 6:54 pm

    Wow. Amazing statement from an amazing athlete and person. I’m gonna miss watching her play. Makes me a little sad.

  24. colt13

    February 26, 2015 at 7:24 pm

    Even though I lived near that other school(ASU), you have always been fun to watch. Best wishes to you in whatever you choose.

  25. KEITH

    February 27, 2015 at 8:15 am

    Was always a ‘winner’ on the field, and still a winner in her approaching retirement from the game. Good Luck Caitlin! It has been a joy seeing you play over the years.

  26. Dennis Fretto

    February 28, 2015 at 8:25 am

    Refreshing to know that some still appreciate the game and the importance of being a team. The reality is that for every A-Rod there are 8 Caitlin Lowe playing for the love of the game not to mention the thousands who never make it to the pros who learn the importance of Pure sport on diamonds across the country. Parents and coaches can learn a lesson from this athlete.

  27. Tracy North Keeling

    March 1, 2015 at 8:22 pm

    You are an amazing player, a person my daughter has looked up to growing up in this beautiful sport of softball! Thanks for all you have done for our sport! Good luck in what you do next!

  28. Leah Cosby...NC

    March 5, 2015 at 6:39 pm

    Caitlyn,

    It’s me that would once again like to extend a thank you. Thank you for the hurry up hustle you exemplified. Thank you for teaching all of us that dynamite is often found in small packages. Thank you for sharing your family with us. Thank you for holding a young man named Nathan close to your heart. Thank you for giving him so many games to look forward to when his reality became too real. Thank you for allowing your spirit to shine through your jersey. Thank you, #23.

    Leah Cosby

  29. Keith T Robinson

    March 18, 2015 at 4:10 pm

    wow! my daughter needs to read this! good luck Caitlin!!!!!!!!!

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