For pro softball players, it’s not about the paycheck: it’s the competition, camaraderie and love for the game

By Karleigh Stone
Medill Reports

Professional softball players make only a fraction of what major league baseball players do. The highest paid National Pro Fastpitch players cap out at around $20,000 per year, a mere four percent of the lowest-paid MLB player’s salary.

Though it’s a professional sport, the women playing can’t make a living from their paychecks. To pay their bills, many take on additional jobs — still in the softball sphere — like running camps and private lessons or as graduate assistants in college programs.

The instinct to compete, the camaraderie among teammates and a lifelong love for softball keep these women coming back season after season, despite the discrepancies in opportunity and pay.

In this video, we hear what the game means to some its top players.

Photo at top: Short-stop DJ Sanders brings in two with a base hit to center. (Karleigh Stone/MEDILL)