Two women are about to announce the plays for America’s favorite pastime.
Sports announcers Melanie Newman and Jessica Mendoza will make up the first all-women team to broadcast a Major League Baseball game on ESPN, according to reports. The duo will be live on national television for an MLB game on September 29 (the teams that will be playing have not yet been announced).
This marks ESPN’s first all-women broadcast for an MLB, NBA or NFA game, CNN reported.
Mendoza has been with ESPN since 2007, and is the first woman to serve as a regular MLB analyst for the network. She was also the first woman analyst in history to call a nationally televised MLB playoff game in 2015.
Newman, who was part of the first all-women crew to broadcast an MLB game in July and the first woman in Baltimore Orioles history to call a regular season game in 2020, is also well-practiced for the occasion.
“Each earmark is just another page,” Newman told CNN. “I feel fortunate to be the one handed this chance, it’s our responsibility until there are no more firsts and it’s just an even playing field of all-qualified professionals who happen to look different.”
For both women, these career breaks are opportunities to inspire younger generations. Mendoza, a Latina woman, sees her new role as a way to make young women who look like her feel seen in a male-dominated industry.
“For young girls, women and Latinas, to hear a voice that represents them is so impactful for not only the sport to grow its audience, but to continue to broaden the opportunities for more young girls, women and Latinas to do the same,” Mendoza, who is also a two-time Olympic medal winner, told CNN.
“Representation absolutely matters,” Newman added. “The number of younger girls who have felt they couldn’t be a fan of sports in general solely out of not seeing women in front still amazes me.”