Yesterday, the 30-year-old Olympic pitcher signed a six-year contract with National Pro Fastpitch’s most recent expansion team, the Houston, Texas Scrap Yard Dawgs, that is expected to be worth $1 million. It’s the league’s first million-dollar deal, and, the first ever million dollar contract signed by a woman in a team sport in the world. The NPF is the only professional women’s softball league in the U.S., with six teams and a 50-game regular season.
The deal took some creativity, since NPF teams have a $150,000 salary cap. That total must be spread among 18 players.
As such, Abbott will make $20,000 per year in base salary, but will earn the rest of her groundbreaking deal through incentives that can be easily reached. Abbott, a 6-foot-3, 30-year-old from California, went 13-1 for the Chicago Bandits last season with a 0.31 ERA, 0.59 WHIP and 149 strikeouts in just 90 1/3 innings. She was also the NPF Championship MVP last season, garnering three wins, a save and 26 strikeouts in four games to lead the Bandits to the title.
Abbott also owns a bevy of collegiate records from her college career with the Tennessee Volunteers, including most strikeouts, most wins, most games pitched and most innings pitched. She had 23 no-hitters and six perfect games in college.