Jessica Mendoza and Melanie Newman are poised to make history before the 2021 MLB season comes to an end.
The pair are set to call an MLB game on Sept. 29 for ESPN, marking the first time the network has had an all-women broadcast for a nationally televised game for MLB, NBA, NFL regular season or playoff game, according to CNN Business.
It has not been reported which game the two will broadcast.
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“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 told CNN Business.
Mendoza, a former Olympic gold-winning softball player, was the first woman to be an analyst for a nationally televised MLB game and the first to be an analyst for a World Series game. She has been with ESPN since 2007 as a softball analyst and college football sideline reporter, and also spent time with Yahoo! Sports and with FOX Sports.
Newman has been part of several history-making broadcasts during her career as a commentator. She was part of the first all-women broadcast team in professional baseball when she did play-by-play for a Salem Red Sox baseball game in 2019 before she joined the Orioles as part of their broadcast team in 2020. She was the first woman in Orioles history to call a regular-season game in 2020 and became part of the first all-women broadcast of an MLB game in July when she did play-by-play for the Orioles vs. Rays, alongside Sarah Langs, Alanna Rizzo, Heidi Watney and Lauren Gardner.
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“Honestly, each earmark is just another page,” Newman told CNN Business. “I feel fortunate to be the one handed this chance. It’s our responsibility until there are no more firsts and its just an even playing field of all-qualified professionals who happen to look different.”
Newman will contribute to ESPN’s pennant race coverage for the final stretch of the season, with CNN Business reporting that she will handle play-by-play for two games, including Wednesday’s clash between the Giants and the Padres.
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“Representation absolutely matters,” Newman told CNN Business. “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.”