Philadelphia, PA League officials have announced the Philadelphia Force as an expansion team for the 2006 NPF season. The franchise is owned by brothers William M. and John M. Thompson. Both brothers are local businessmen who currently reside in Montgomery County, and native Philadelphians. The teams operations will be headed out of Horsham, Pennsylvania and the club has named Patriots Park in Allentown as their home stadium for the inaugural season.
The Force has signed four free agents, including 2004 Olympic Gold Medalist Natasha Watley. Last year, Watley played for the New York franchise and batted a team-high .374. Philadelphia has also signed 2005 NPF Co-pitcher of the year, Lauren Bay. Bay is currently the top pitcher on the Canadian Olympic team and arguably the best left-hander in the NPF, last year accumulating 17 wins and a .88 ERA en route to being named an All-Star in 2005. The Force has also signed 2005 NPF All-Stars second baseman Carri Leto, a graduate of Northwestern University, and power hitting catcher, Ryan Realmuto, an Oklahoma State University alumnus.
The Force will be unveiling team logos, marquee athletes and inaugural ticket packages and fundraising opportunities at the Sellersville Belles Fall Classic on Saturday, October 22nd at Druckenmiller Park in Sellersville, Pennsylvania. 2004 Olympic Gold Medalist and Force shortstop Natasha Watley, along with teammates, will be on hand for autograph signings and photo opportunities between 12:30 p.m. 2:00 p.m. In conjunction with the tournament appearance, the Philadelphia Force will be conducting a Softball Training & Conditioning Clinic on Friday, October 21st from 7:00 9:00 p.m. at Druckenmiller Park. Dont miss your chance to learn from the best lead off hitter and fastest player in the world Natasha Watley! She will highlight the fundamentals of the short game, while demonstrating her world renowned slapping technique during this two hour softball speed and agility clinic. Mizuno will be providing various giveaways throughout the clinic and the Belles tournament.