Freshman Gabby Thompson is making the switch from baseball to softball this spring


Gabby Thompson

Gabby batting at the home plate

In a world where we can choose to be and do what is right for us, freshman Gabby Thompson chooses to strike life on and off the baseball field. 

Being the youngest of four and the only sister in her family, Gabby has grown up watching her three older brothers play ball. 

“I’ve played baseball [ever] since I can remember,” Gabby said. “My brothers and I would always go outside and play small games of makeshift baseball. With four it was hard, but we managed to make it work.” 

Gabby picked up the game in third grade and decided at seven years old that baseball was the sport for her. Gabby’s family will always be supportive, no matter how controversial her love of a “boys sport” may get. Her brothers have always encouraged her to do anything she puts her mind to. 

“My brothers really urged me to play baseball,” Gabby said. “I wanted to show that, just because I’m a girl, [it] doesn’t mean I can’t stand on the baseball diamond. My brothers have always supported my choice and love seeing me succeed on the field. They too wanted to see me make a difference.”

There are plenty of sports in the world for both boys and girls to participate in, but Gabby is defeating the odds by hitting home runs in the sport she loves.

The jitters of stepping onto the field for the first time didn’t hinder Gabby. She has always loved the electric feeling of the bat every time it connects with the ball.

“I remember being at the plate [for the first time],” Gabby said. “I wore my tiny, pink hat and hoisted [the bat] over my shoulders, feeling nervous going up to bat. I stood there waiting for the machine to shoot the ball out; when it did, I swung the bat like it was the end of the world. I always think of these moments when it’s my turn, and I look for the improvement I have undergone and appreciate how far I’ve come.”

From the very start, Gabby has been surrounded by boys, and she’s always had that thought of, “Why can’t I play?” when it came to the sport. Gabby’s been driven by the idea of female empowerment—she’s always finding new ways to make a difference in the world of sports. 

“My family has been nothing but supportive of me playing,” Gabby said. “My brother, Lucas, has always pushed me to be my best and try harder than I [would]. I’ve learned that I should work on being one percent better every day. Even my parents always made an effort to see my games. Everyone always loved that I played.”

Seeing younger girls play baseball makes me feel great—it makes me feel like I really did something good.”

— Gabby Thompson

Gabby has come to appreciate what this sport has offered her; even during the first few challenges, she has persevered. Having something so special and connecting to it is never perfect, and there have been some defining moments that have caused Gabby to come to understand that. 

“The challenge for me was the hate,” Gabby said. “I used to be bullied by a coach’s kid, but I always pushed through and did my best in games. I remember being up to bat and hearing someone say, ‘A girl? Let’s see her hit,’ in the most obnoxious tone. I ended up hitting a line drive straight to the right. Even as I got older, I still was doubted and talked about by people who didn’t think a girl should play baseball. I played because I enjoyed the sport and wanted to make an impact—I wanted to show people that they are wrong, that I can play.”

Those small, yet defining moments contribute to who Gabby is today. It has made her even more resilient and has rounded her personality to be the best version of herself. 

“My teammates and coaches were always the building blocks to the athlete I am now,” Gabby said. “I couldn’t have asked for a better six years with baseball.” 

Though time has gone by, and baseball season is quickly approaching, Gabby will be taking on softball instead this spring. She will be showing off the skills she has learned and putting them into a new, yet very similar sport. Even though this is a little nerve-racking, she is ecstatic to see what this new sport holds for her.

“I’m feeling mixed emotions as I switch into softball,” Gabby said. “I’m sad that I’m not allowed to play baseball anymore, [since] it was the sport I grew up with. I grew up playing with these amazing guys—and occasionally a girl—and we never saw a dull moment. I truly will miss them being my teammates, but I’m excited about softball; I sense bigger and better things coming.” 

As Gabby endures new beginnings, she will always grasp the feelings and teachings that baseball has left her with.  

“Baseball has taught me you can do whatever you want to do in life,” Gabby said. “Nobody can stop you. You can make that difference, and still, nobody can stop you. Ever since I decided to step foot on the diamond, I see more and more girls every year. I loved playing baseball because of the impact it’s had on me and everyone around me. Seeing younger girls play baseball makes me feel great—it makes me feel like I really did something good.”