ThePostGame just had another chance to catch up former softball star and Olympic gold medalist Jennie Finch just before she presented the Capital One Cup to UCLA for being the top NCAA Division I school in men's sports overall this season. (North Carolina won the women's Cup.) In addition to being an ESPN commentator, she is also helping softball campaign to return to the Olympics.
ThePostGame: Looking back at your own college experience, was there particular class that you remember having the most impact on you, your life or outlook?
JENNIE FINCH: I majored in communications, and there were so many different aspects of how people communicate. Verbally. Non-verbally. It definitely helped me in what I do now.
TPG: The program with the Capital One Cup really touches all the sports from the marquee teams on down. That really gives women's sports an opportunity to be part of the mix, and that's probably an aspect important to you.
FINCH: Yes, I'm proud to be on the advisory board for the Capital One Cup. And it really does bring light to the sports that maybe don't get as much attention. And for women's sports in general, it's a great way for college fans and alums to cheer for their school one more time, and for bragging rights in winning the Capital One Cup. It was nice to crown two new winners this year. The Florida men had won it the past two years. This year UCLA took it. Stanford, on the women's side, had taken it the past two years, and we just crowned the UNC women this year. And also, Capital One donates $400,000, so a lot of the money goes back to the schools in scholarships.
TPG: Softball had been an Olympic sport but it was voted out of the Games for 2012 and 2016. There is a campaign to get it restored for 2020. You've been involved in that fight. Can you give an update on what's happening?
FINCH: I'm blessed to be working closely with the WBSC -- World Baseball Softball Confederation -- to get it back in. We've made the short list. It's baseball/softball, squash and wrestling. One of us will be reinstated in the 2020 Olympics. The vote is in September. Just a few weeks ago, they narrowed the list down from eight to three. The first victory was getting on that list. That was a big hurdle, and you can support us by going to PlayBall2020.com.
TPG: What sort of lobbying or twisting of arms can you do in the meantime before the vote in September?
FINCH: We want to get the word out that more than 140 countries play baseball and softball and get that point to the International Olympic Committee members that make the vote.
TPG: There are so many countries active in the sport. Is that perhaps your most compelling argument, that this isn't an isolated sport that only a handful of nations participate in?
FINCH: Definitely, they're global games and we've worked on a plan where we can play on the same field. It'll kept to six days, which is shorter so hopefully we can get the Major League Baseball players to come over and play in it. Our sport needs it. A lot of sports have other platforms, but our sport truly needs the Olympics. And everything they're judged on from ratings and world participation, we were in the upper half.
TPG: Sometimes it all comes down to politics.
FINCH: Unfortunately, yes. But hopefully it can work in our favor this time around.
Here's more of our conversation with Jennie Finch in which she discusses being a mom, advice for young players and her peanut butter preference.