The march of progress continues for women in professional baseball.
The New York Mets recently announced that a woman, Elizabeth Benn, would be its next director of Major League operations. With this promotion, Benn – who has worked within the MLB since 2017 – becomes the highest-ranking woman employee in franchise history.
Prior to assuming this role with the Mets, Benn managed youth programs and labor relations for the MLB, before joining the league’s operations team in 2020. She’s also a baseball player herself – a pitcher – and was the first woman ever to play in the New York City Metro Baseball League, MLB.com reports.
Her ascension through the pro baseball ranks is noteworthy on its own. But it’s also the latest in a years-long string of progressive hires for the organization that started in 2019, as it seeks to improve representation for women in its upper echelons.
A few notable examples: Last fall, Kim Ng became baseball’s first woman general manager of the Miami Marlins; earlier last year, Bianca Smith became the first Black woman to coach for the Boston Red Sox; and on the reporting side of things, ESPN had its first-ever all-woman broadcasting team on a game.
It’s about time this trend took hold, considering women make up a significant portion of the sport’s fanbase. In fact, 43 percent of women describe themselves as baseball fans.
And Benn herself was optimistic about such progress taking place, according to MLB.com. “We might not see many women in front offices right now,” they quoted her as saying back in 2019. “[But] I think that’s going to continue to grow.”