What the Bridgeport Bluefish lack in wins is made up in showmanship.
The Bluefish, who, along with the Long Island Ducks, play in the Independent Atlantic League, will be guest-managed by Jennie Finch, the women’s fast-pitch softball legend, Sunday in a game against the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs at the Ballpark at Harbor Yard in Bridgeport, Connecticut.
Finch, who is being billed as the first woman to manage a men’s pro baseball team, played softball for the University of Arizona from 1999 to 2002 and was an integral part of the Wildcats’ 2001 national championship.
After her college career, Finch played for Team USA in two summer Olympic Games, winning gold in Athens in 2004 and silver in Beijing in 2008. She played five seasons for the Chicago Bandits in the National Pro Fastpitch League. She also has appeared on TV reality shows, including Celebrity Apprentice.
The Bluefish say Finch will participate in a pregame meet-and-greet with fans, throw out the first pitch and assist the team in the dugout for the entire game.
“We are really excited to have Jennie come out and manage the team,” Bluefish general manager Jamie Toole said in the release. “She is an incredible athlete and a wonderful person, and we hope our fans will enjoy seeing her in a Bluefish uniform for the day.”
This is not the first time Bridgeport has temporarily, and ceremonially, handed the proverbial keys to the kingdom to a former star. Pete Rose guest-managed the club in 2014.
The Atlantic League, while not affiliated with Major League Baseball, does boast a collection of former major-leaguers, some of them with high profiles. Former Met Endy Chavez plays for Bridgeport. Former Met Ruben Gotay and former Twin Lew Ford play for the Ducks.
Entering play Saturday, the Bluefish had the fewest wins (11) in the Atlantic League. At least for a day, they’re banking on a former softball standout switching their luck.