ROSEMONT, Ill. (November 5, 2019) – The Chicago Bandits have reached an agreement on a one-year deal with infielder Abbey Cheek, team officials announced Tuesday morning.
The 2019 National Pro Fastpitch Rookie of the Year made an instant impact both in the hot corner and at the plate for the Bandits. On the field, Cheek had 23 putouts and had a hand in 4 double plays, ending the regular season with a fielding percentage of .966.
“Abbey’s season was stellar, which just made this decision a no-brainer,” General Manager Toni Calmeyn said. “Seeing her collegiate success translate to the professional level was amazing and we can’t wait to see what she does with this ball club going forward.”
Fresh out of a full and successful season at University of Kentucky, Cheek came to chicago with 2019 National Player of the League and Southeastern Conference Player of the Year accolades, but that’s not the only thing she brought with her to the midwest.
Fans and players alike bought in as Cheek brought a little piece of Kentucky tradition with her to Chicago; the team joined her in translating UK’s staple chest bump celebration to a new Chicago tradition, making sure every home run had a “Chest Bump From Cheek.”
There were plenty of chest bumps for the former UK standout — in 111 plate appearances, Cheek had nine home runs and 28 RBI, good for a .378 batting average.
“I am super excited to be back with Bandit Nation!” Cheek said in a statement. “I cannot wait to take on my second season as a Bandit. I’m eager to see where the pro league is going, and can’t wait to be a part of it!”
In the offseason, Cheek practices her best Big League Chew bubbles with the Morehead State University Eagles Softball team as their assistant coach.
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 softball team. The Bandits provide an opportunity for female fastpitch softball players to further their careers at the professional level and has included legendary figures such as Jennie Finch, Tammy Williams and Stacy May-Johnson.
About National Pro Fastpitch (NPF)
National Pro Fastpitch (NPF), an Official Development Partner of Major League Baseball since 2004, provides elite female athletes with an opportunity to pursue a professional career in fastpitch softball beyond their collegiate and amateur success. The NPF affiliate teams consist of the Aussie Peppers of Minnesota, Beijing Shougang Eagles, Canadian Wild of Southern Illinois, Chicago Bandits, Cleveland Comets, and USSSA Pride. National Pro Fastpitch players hail from the United States, Australia, Canada, China, and Mexico, and represent the most accomplished and talented athletes in the sport of women’s softball.