Akron, OH---Akron Racers, President & General Manager, Joey Arrietta announced today, that Two-time Olympic Gold medalist, Crystl Bustos has been named the Racers’ new Field Manager. Bustos, who retired from the Racers this past summer, has accepted the offer to take over the team from first-year manager, Barb Sherwood.
The Racers, under Sherwood’s tutelage, finished second in the NPF regular season standings but exited the NPF Championship Series with a 1-2 record against eventual champions, the Rockford Thunder. The Racers coaching staff including Sherwood, Radara McHugh (pitching coach), Crystl Bustos (hitting instructor), and volunteer assistant Shawn Reis were named the 2009 NPF Coaching Staff of the Year after elevating the Racers from fifth to second place in the NPF standings. “Our coaching staff kept a very talented roster focused on improving every aspect of the game. I am grateful to all of them, especially Barb, who did a good job for us,” noted Arrietta.
The opportunity to move Bustos into the Field Manager role became apparent when Bustos announced that she would make Akron her new home. “I was thrilled to know that Crystl would be staying in Akron. Her work with young players is amazing. In my opinion, no one does it better, than Crystl Bustos,” explained Arrietta.
Arrietta made the decision to replace Sherwood and turn over the future of the Racers to Bustos for a number of reasons. “She has been coached by the best in the world, she has played with the best players in the world and she has played the game at the highest level in the world. Those are credentials that cannot be overlooked. She enjoys the respect of players, coaches and fans worldwide. She was also a member of the Racers first team in 1999 and returned to Akron in 2005 to make good on a promise she made to me.” The Racers won their first NPF Title in 2005.
“It is an honor to become the Racers Field Manager. Joey put together a very talented roster this past year and I believe we can do great things with Racers, on the field and in the community,” explains Bustos. “This is a great opportunity to give back to the game what the game has given me. I was a pro before I became an Olympian and I want to do whatever I can to help develop the pro game.”
“Crystl and I have spent a lot of time together discussing the Racers, the NPF and the future of our game. She is taking on an entirely new role for her but I believe it will be met with the same success she has enjoyed as a player,” commented Arrietta. “I believe this role requires the ability to manage talent and I think she will have no problem doing just that.”
Bustos’ list of honors is incredible to say the least. Most recently she collected the 2009 NPF Player of the Year as well as the Offensive Player of the Year. Bustos was one homerun shy of the Triple Crown. She may have achieved that milestone if she had not been walked numerous times during the NPF Championship Series.
For the record, Bustos won Olympic Gold Medals in 2000 and then in 2004. She finished her international career with the USA Team with a silver medal in the 2008 Olympics in Beijing posting a .500 batting average with six homeruns and 10 RBI. She received the 2008 USA Softball Player of the Year, won three Pan American gold medals (1999, 2003, 2007) and was a two-time World Cup Champion (2006, 2007). Her 11-year career is filled with numerous individual records that will be difficult to match any time soon.
To arrange a phone interview with Crystl Bustos please contact Joey Arrietta at 330.620.2216.