Chicago Bandits Surprise Marie Marcum After Letter To MLB
When Marie Marcum was at a Chicago-area Chuck E. Cheese's, she wanted to show off her softball arm on a Major Leaugue Baseball licensed game.
She missed the target and the game mocked her by telling her, "Well, there's always softball."
The mocking angered Marcum and she took matters into her own hands by writing a letter to MLB with suggestions on how the game should be changed. Since receiving the letter, the game was changed and MLB told her that they weren't supporting the game anymore.
"She was really mad, actually, that doesn't begin to cover it. She was aggressive," Marcum's mother, Lisa, said. "She start slamming the buttons, kicking at the game. I didn't notice what was going on until she told me what was going on. So we swiped the card again and heard it. She was quite upset."
Lisa purposed the idea of her daughter writing a letter and she decided posted it on social media on Feb. 18. It went viral.
Marcum, nine, was interviewed on WGN Morning News on Feb. 26 wearing her new Chicago Bandits jersey alongside her mother and Bandits General Manager Toni Calmeyn.
During that interview, Calmeyn made it a point to mention the television coverage that college softball receives on the ESPN family of networks.
"It's a great game," Calmeyn said. "It's gaining popularity like anything. ESPN shows the Women's College World Series and the last few years it's had more viewership than the men's College World Series."
Last season, a handful of games were shown on ESPN+, an online platform that viewers can pay for but the NPF wants their product to be shown on the network like college softball is.
On Feb. 23, the Chicago Bandits surprised Marcum's team at the Hard Work Gets Me Hits indoor facility in Joliet, IL. Calmeyn along with the team's mascot, Swiper, presented Marcum and her teammates with gift bags full of Bandits swag and tickets to a future game with the opportunity to meet the team. The Bandits also invited Marcum to throw out a first pitch.
"(The support has been) overwhelming," LIsa said. "It really shows the power of social media. It's been very heartwarming and very cool for me to see how huge the softball world is and all these different pieces to the puzzle of what makes up the sport and the organizations.
"It's powerful to see how my kid (or a kid) was able to affect all these people. It's mind blowing.