FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

Catching Up with the Chicago Bandits

by John Wroblewski

Jul 9, 2018

It was a special week at the Parkway Bank Sports Complex, home of the National Pro Fastpitch Chicago Bandits. Unfortunately, the Bandits lost two of three both to the first-place USSSA Pride and the 3rd place Aussie Spirit, but a fun time was still had by all.

Saturday night featured a big Taco Night tailgate party hosted by Bandit Nation. Every NPF team has loyal fans, but Bandit Nation is truly the largest, most dedicated group. Everyone contributes, and the players join the fun.

© CHRIS BEJCEK

© CHRIS BEJCEK

© JACK KEENAN

Sunday’s game featured a Pink Out, as the Bandits wore special pink jerseys to raise awareness of breast cancer in coordination with A Silver Lining Foundation. The jerseys were auctioned off to raise money for the cause. Over the years, money raised through this partnership has paid for more than 150 mammograms. The Pink Out even extended to the stands as many of the fans wore pink to show their support.

Also on Sunday, I caught up with longtime Bandits photographer Dina Kwit. Through My Lens: A Photo Collection of Women’s Pro Softball, her upcoming book, will feature 200 pages of her favorite photographs from her time with the team. Dina captured images of hundreds of players, including some of the greatest of all time, like Cat Osterman, Jennie Finch and Monica Abbott, as well as exciting moments like the three championships won by the Bandits. It is a celebration of the great sport and the first of its kind. I can’t wait to see the finished book!

© MARK PANDOCCHI

Friday was Salute Night, as the Bandits again donned special uniforms. Those uniforms were auctioned off to benefit Salute, Inc., a non-profit organization that provides support for military men and women as they transition to civilian life. As with the pink jerseys, these stars and stripes jerseys are very popular and the bidding reflected that popularity as well as the support for the cause.

This was a great week, and there is still about half a season to be played. The Bandits, at 20-7, are well on their way to securing a spot in the championship series, played right here. I’ll be at the ballpark cheering all the way!

— John Wroblewski, online contributor

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