Melanie Newman and Jessica mendoza is not done making history.
The two sports providers will be ESPN’s first female broadcast team for a nationally remote Major League Baseball match on September 29. The match will mark the first time ESPN has an all-woman broadcast team for an MLB, NBA, NFL regular season or playoff game. The teams that will play have not yet been decided.
Newman and Mendoza have entered their names in the history books. Newman was one part of MLB’s first ever female broadcast in July while Mendoza became the first female analyst to call national television MLB playoff game in 2015. Mendoza, ESPN’s first regular female MLB analyst, has been with the network since 2007.
Mendoza is a two-time Olympic medalist and was a four-time all-American on Stanford University’s softball team.
“Honestly, every ear tag is just another page,” Newman told CNN Business. “I feel lucky to be the one who got this chance, it is our responsibility until there are no more first-time points, and it is just a level playing field for qualified professionals who happen to look different.”
Mendoza reiterated Newman’s sentiment, saying “it is important to get more people to represent the baseball game.”
“For young girls, women and Hispanics, hearing a voice that represents them is so important not only for the sport to grow its audience, but to continue to expand the opportunities for more young girls, women and Hispanics to do the same, she told CNN Business.
Newman, as well created history as the first woman in Oriole’s history to call it a regular season match in 2020, will provide game-by-game commentary for two ESPN baseball broadcasts when the network puts together its “pennant race” stretch of 11 games in 11 days. Her first will be Wednesday, when the San Francisco Giants take on the San Diego Padres.
She also believes that representation is important for growing America’s first professional sport.
“Representation is absolutely important,” Newman said. “The number of younger girls who have felt they could not be a fan of sports in general just because they did not see women in front still amazes me.”
A young female Orioles fan went viral earlier this month to put together a sign on a game that said “Hi Melanie Newman, do you need help in the stall?”
The fan met Newman after the match, and Newman signed her poster.