A game-worn Nicole “Sis” Bates Athletes Unlimited softball jersey commemorating the 50th anniversary of Title IX sold for $1,800 this past week.
The black, white and gold jersey was also autographed by Bates, a second-year player in the professional league.
The 2016 Ceres High School grad was a standout infielder/hitter at the University of Washington from 2017-21.
“Wow,” Bates’ father John said when reacting to the news.
“It’s pretty cool,” said Mike Corsaut, who helped coached Bates at the varsity level her freshman year with the Bulldogs and was her U.S. History teacher at Mae Henley Jr. High in the eighth-grade. “Sis is the face of women’s softball. Anytime you watch her play, you can see the joy on her face. It’s infectious. She loves the game. She plays the game the right way. She hasn’t changed one bit. They’re marketing that and using that to their advantage.”
“Sis is dynamic,” said Chelsea Suitos, co-founder of Players Collxctive, the sports agency that represents Bates. “She radiates positivity and is so personable. What she does on the field is exceptional. She was raised by an amazing family. She transcends sports. That’s why we like working with her.”
“She’s as popular of an athlete there is in today’s sports world. She’s done a great job of not letting the success get in her way. She doesn’t want the attention.”Washington head coach Heather Tarr on Nicole Bates
“She’s as popular of an athlete there is in today’s sports world,” Washington head coach Heather Tarr said. “She’s done a great job of not letting the success get in her way. She doesn’t want the attention.”
“Softball brings me a lot of joy,” Bates said. “The people I play it with bring me a lot of joy. Just having passion and loving every second of it, that’s what it’s all about.”
Sold via auction on the Athletes Unlimited website last Thursday at 6:40 p.m., Bates’ No. 22 jersey was worn during a game she played in on June 23.
She was named Defensive MVP following the conclusion of the pro league’s condensed season, which was staged June 13-25 at San Diego State University Stadium.
She had 21 putouts and a .952 fielding percentage in 12 games.
Bates made ESPN SportsCenter’s Top 10 Plays twice for her defensive wizardry.
“Winning this award is pretty awesome,” she said.
“I just try to make defensive plays for my pitchers because I know it fires them up and it serves as a spark plug for our team,” Bates added.
Bates ranked 38th on Athletes Unlimited’s individual leaderboard with 658 points. She collected one double, eight singles, five RBIs, four runs and one walk.
She singled and scored the tying run as Team Fischer topped Team Zerkle 10-6 in 10 innings during the season finale on June 26.
Bates tallied the winning run in a 9-8 victory against Team Eberle on June 14. She was named one of the game’s three Most Valuable Players. Bates batted 2-for-4 from the plate with one double, one single, two RBIs and one run.
“She’s been incredible since she was 10,” said Mike Baisdon, who coached Bates for seven seasons, including two at Ceres High School and a combined five with the Tri-County Smash and NorCal Firecrackers travel softball organizations.
“I really love softball,” said Bates, who made the transition to coaching this spring as a student assistant with Washington. “It takes up a lot of my time. I wouldn’t want to be doing anything else. I’m very grateful to be where I’m at. It’s more than I could have dreamed of. Softball has given me everything in my life.”
Bates enjoyed a storied athletic career with the Huskies.
She became just the second player in Pac-12 history to earn three Defensive Player of the Year awards (2021, 2019, 2018).
Her career fielding percentage of .980 is the second-highest mark for any middle infielder in Washington history.
In her last 75 games, Bates made three total errors.
She was voted best college shortstop on ESPN’s Greatest All-Time Softball Team via a fan poll in 2019.
One of the most decorated players in Washington history, Bates became the program’s all-time hits leaders during her final season.
She had 320 hits in 261 career games.
She also ranks first in triples (18), third in runs (227), fourth in batting average (.385) and fifth in doubles (54) in program history.
Bates batted .389 from the plate in 2021 with one homer, five triples, 12 doubles, 32 RBIs, 55 runs and 21 stolen bases.
She led the Pac-12 in hits with 75.
Bates also made history by becoming just the fifth hitter from Washington to earn NFCA All-American honors for a third time.
She was selected to the NFCA Second Team.
She was a first-team pick in 2019 and 2018.
She was a Top-10 finalist for 2021 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year.
Bates filled a major role in leading Washington to 222 victories, three trips to the Women’s College World Series—including one finals berth—and one Pac-12 regular-season title.