Softball is making a comeback at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, and Cat Osterman will be right there with it.
When she retired in 2015, she had nearly every accolade the sport had to offer — school records that still stand at her alma mater The University of Texas at Austin, College World Series wins, and a gold medal from the 2004 Olympics. But she didn’t end her Olympic career on a high: The U.S. lost the gold to Japan in the 2008 Olympic Games. Then, the International Olympic Committee eliminated the sport from the Olympics.
Now, softball is back on the schedule for Tokyo, and Osterman is back on the roster for Team USA. She came out of retirement for last week’s try outs, where it became clear that at age 35, she’s still got it. Monica Abbott, a star pitcher who also played in the 2008 Olympic games, is on the roster as well.
“You don’t become one of the greatest players in a sport — for so many years Osterman and Monica Abbott were softball’s version of Magic Johnson and Larry Bird — without a competitive perfectionism that remains foreign to most peers, let alone the rest of us. One disappointment rankles more than a thousand successes soothe.”