Hall of Fame
Hall of Fame
Harvard Athletic Achievements
Hall of Fame
Remembering Harvard Athletics
I am so thrilled and honored to be here tonight and I’d like to thank the Harvard Varsity Club and the selection committee for bestowing this honor upon me. Congratulations to the other honorees who are also being inducted tonight. This is more than I ever could have dreamt while growing up in Woodstock, Illinois. The best aspect of playing team sports is sharing the experience and riding the highs and lows with teammates. And I had really great teammates who were all remarkable, strong women. The thrill of nailing a runner at home plate or driving a pitch into the gap has faded over the years but the support, laughter and camaraderie we all experienced remains over the years and across the miles. We shared such a pivotal time in our lives and we had more than our share of mischievous fun as we each came into our unique own together. From the bus rides (which started out as van rides and later ended with flat tires)… to the parent-sponsored smorgasbords set up between double headers… to the pop-up drills with the pitching machine (which inevitably finished with a sausage finger for someone)… to the legendary Spring Break tournaments in Florida, Hawaii, and California…it was a giant blast. To all my former teammates (especially fellow ‘96ers Daf and Trauby), I hope no matter how much work we have in the future, I’ll always see you in ten minutes at the Grille.
There are many other people who have played such a pivotal role in helping me get to this place, starting with my high school softball coach, Jim Patton, and his wife, Deb, who are here with me tonight. Thank you for sticking with that awkward, skinny little freshman who was more than just a little out of control at shortstop. Your insight and outlook on life has been precious to me and I have treasured our friendship over the past 20 years.
I’d like to thank Barry Haskell who recruited me and coached me during my first two seasons. Barry was instrumental in reminding us that at the end of the day, softball was just a game and the most important thing in life is having perspective. Similarly, I’d like to thank Jenny Allard who came on board during my junior season and elevated the team to new levels. I am so proud of how far she has taken the program in the last seventeen years. I have no doubt there will be many more softball players receiving this honor in the years to come.
I was also fortunate to play basketball for the one and only Kathy Delaney-Smith, a truly remarkable and inspirational coach and woman (and one hell of a synchronized swimmer, I’m told). Kathy, you have taught me more than you’ll ever know. Thank you for your dedication to your profession, your passion for equality in sports, and your incredible sense of humor. You’re #1 (insert photo from the Ivy League Championships here). And to our beloved Trisha Brown, who came into the program alongside me and took the class of ’96 under her wing…thank you for your invaluable guidance over the years and innate ability to produce an unending fit of laughter.
To all my basketball teammates, especially my ’96 classmates: Katy Davis, Liz Gettelman, and Elizabeth “Buzz” Proudfit (with a shout out to wanna-be ’96ers Jess Gelman). I recently heard the description of ‘someone who just didn’t have it in her to give anything but her best.’ That portrayal summarizes this amazing group of incredibly driven women. You continue to motivate me with all the remarkable things you are doing in this world.
And finally, I want to thank my family for all their support and love over the years. I am so grateful for my older brother who taught me how to throw sidearm and allowed me to play alongside all the boys in the neighborhood baseball games behind our house. You always had my back. Thank you to my mom and dad who consistently made sacrifices along the way to help me follow my dreams. From letting me decide as an eight year-old to sign up for boys’ Little League to driving hundreds of hours every summer just so I could play on the best traveling softball team for four years…you’ve always gone above and beyond in your support. And despite living thousands of miles away, you managed to make almost all of my home games for both sports. Mom, you are without a doubt the strongest woman I know and thank you for setting an example for me day in and day out. Dad, I miss you more than anything but take you with me everywhere. I know you’re sharing this with me.
Like many people who’ve been welcomed into the storied gates of Harvard Yard, I have been permanently shaped by my time in Cambridge. It has opened up a world of education, diversity and opportunity and I am indebted to those who helped me get here. I can only hope to pay that forward.
Thank you. I will cherish this moment forever.