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Women In Baseball Newsbeat

Sunday, September 04, 2022

MLB is overdue for a female umpire. One may be on the way.

The first thing to know about Jen Pawol — and listen closely because this is important — is that she would rather no one know much about her at all. Professional umpires are professionally inconspicuous, and women in baseball always have known the key to a life in baseball is the ability to blend.

The second thing to know about Jen Pawol — and this is important, too — is that she someday may become the first woman to umpire a Major League Baseball game. Pawol, 45, would never say that herself. From her perspective, she and the other members of her three-person Class AA umpiring crew are all in the same position, two steps from the majors, on the cusp of living their thankless dreams.

But people like her crewmates Tanner Moore and Kellen Martin have made the journey to the majors before. No woman ever has. So she is not in the same position as they are, even though she says everyone is doing a remarkable job of treating her like she is.

Fifty years after the passage of Title IX, many women are finding their way into baseball roles no one like them has had before. Kim Ng is the general manager of the Miami Marlins. Eve Rosenbaum was just named assistant general manager of the rising Baltimore Orioles. Kelsie Whitmore is playing in the Atlantic League. Alyssa Nakken is a coach for the San Francisco Giants. Rachel Balkovec is managing a New York Yankees minor league affiliate. That list is hardly all-inclusive.

But only nine women have umpired in the minor leagues, according to MLB. Two, Pawol and Isabella Robb, are currently umpiring in the minor leagues. Numerically, she is an outlier. On the field, she is far less so.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 04, 2022 at 04:47 PM | 107 comment(s)
  Beats: umpires, women in baseball

Friday, June 17, 2022

After a minor league announcer reported an assault, the team posted her job for the next season without talking to her

This January, Maura Sheridan found out that the play-by-play job she’d held since February 2020 with the Lynchburg (VA) Hillcats (the Cleveland Guardians’ single-A affiliate) had been publicly posted without any discussion with her on if she wanted to return. As Brittany Ghiroli of The Athletic writes in a detailed feature, Sheridan only learned of that posting from friends. That came after Sheridan reported an assault by Hillcats’ player Daritzon Feliz in August 2021; she then finished out the season (through September 13) with the Hillcats, and was planning to return with them the next year before she learned of this posting. The whole feature is well worth reading, but the discussion of the job posting from Sheridan and Hillcats’ general manager/team president Chris Jones particularly stands out.

Sheridan had to call Jones multiple times before she finally reached him the following day.

Sheridan says Jones told her that he thought she had said she wasn’t coming back. “And I said, ‘Don’t you think I would remember that conversation?’” Sheridan says. “He told me the team thought they would give this position to someone that wouldn’t get it otherwise. He was acting like he had given me a job as a charity case as a woman. And it was a one-year situation and then I was done. He said the position is not going to travel anymore and the hours are cut, and the pay is cut.”

“To me, it felt like a very obvious response to what had happened. They didn’t want to have a broadcaster become a liability on the road.”

Jones said there was “no malicious intent” in the team not alerting Sheridan that the position was being posted. “The radio jobs are all seasonal positions. Every year, you know, I changed radio people almost every year. Like it’s always the same thing. They contact you that they want to come back or you go out and find another one. It’s not like — I didn’t not give her the job.”

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 17, 2022 at 10:57 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: women in baseball

Tuesday, June 07, 2022

A League of Their Own’ Amazon Series Sets August Premiere Date, Reveals First Look

The “A League of Their Own” Amazon series based on Penny Marshall’s popular 1992 comedy film will premiere Aug. 12.

Amazon announced the news via a first look teaser, set to the classic Stevie Nicks song “Edge of Seventeen.” The teaser can be seen below.

Both the show and film version of “A League of Their Own” take place in 1943, the year that the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League was formed. The women’s league, a first of its kind in the sport, was created to keep baseball in the public consciousness after World War II saw the majority of male players drafted, essentially shutting down Major League Baseball. The show focuses on a different team than the one featured in the movie, in a completely separate storyline.

Abbi Jacobson, who created the series with Will Graham, leads the cast as Carson Shaw, while Chanté Adams, D’Arcy Carden, Roberta Colindrez, Gbemisola Ikumelo, Kelly McCormack and Priscilla Delgado play her teammates. Nick Offerman also stars as the team’s manager, a role played by Tom Hanks in the original film, while recurring cast members include Saidah Arrika Ekulona, Kate Berlant, Kendall Johnson, Alex Désert, Aaron Jennings, Molly Ephraim, Melanie Field and Dale Dickey. Rosie O’Donnell, who played one of the Rockford Peaches in the original “League of Their Own,” is also slated to guest star during the first season.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 07, 2022 at 10:15 AM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: a league of their own, television, women in baseball

Thursday, May 26, 2022

MLB, in memo, rebukes clubs for ‘unacceptable’ workplace facilities for women employees

In a pointed letter to teams last week, Major League Baseball said numerous clubs’ stadiums “fall embarrassingly below the high standards” necessary for women who are part of the game’s traveling parties to do their jobs, create an “untenable working environment” and that organizations soon must reconfigure their facilities to fix what the league deemed “unacceptable,” according to a copy of the memo obtained by ESPN.

The letter, sent May 20 by MLB senior vice president of on-field operations Michael Hill to general managers, assistant general managers and some ballpark-operations staff, highlighted the issues a wide array of women—including coaches, trainers, analysts, translators, mental-health professionals, massage therapists, player-development employees and others—face because of substandard facilities. MLB regulations laid out in a March 16, 2021, memo require that women staffers for home and road teams receive a clean locker room space that is close to the main clubhouse, private and includes a restroom and shower.

“Over the first six weeks of the season,” the memo said, “it has become clear that a number of Clubs are not in compliance with these requirements, particularly with respect to hosting women on visiting teams.”

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 26, 2022 at 10:12 PM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: women in baseball

Sunday, May 01, 2022

Staten Island FerryHawks’ Kelsie Whitmore first woman to start Atlantic League game

Kelsie Whitmore played left field and batted ninth for the Staten Island FerryHawks on Sunday, becoming the first woman to start a game in the Atlantic League and one of the first to do so in a league connected to Major League Baseball.

The 23-year-old Whitmore cracked manager Edgardo Alfonzo’s lineup for the FerryHawks’ game at the Gastonia Honey Hunters.

Whitmore, a right-handed hitter, went 0-for-2. She struck out in her first at-bat, was hit by a pitch in the second—she hustled toward first base after being struck in the arm by a breaking pitch—and flied out to right in her third time up. She was then pulled for a pinch-hitter in a 10-5 loss.

Flawless in the field, Whitmore caught a couple of flyballs hit in her direction.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 01, 2022 at 10:21 PM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: atlantic league, women in baseball

Wednesday, April 13, 2022

Alyssa Nakken Becomes First Female Coach On Field

“I think we’re all inspirations doing everything that we do on a day-to-day basis and I think, yes, this carries a little bit more weight because of the visibility, obviously there’s a historical nature to it,” she said. “But again, this is my job.”

Nakken came in to coach first base for the Giants in the third inning after Antoan Richardson was ejected.

When she was announced as Richardson’s replacement, Nakken received a warm ovation from the crowd at Oracle Park, and a congratulatory handshake from Padres first baseman Eric Hosmer.

Jose is Absurdly Correct but not Helpful Posted: April 13, 2022 at 09:11 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: giants, women in baseball

 

 

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