Baseball has seen a new generation of fans, especially women, break into the game, and nowhere is this more prevalent than in the baseball journalism/broadcasting world.
This also includes team social media accounts, like the Tampa Bay Rays themselves, who had Erin Hodges helping run their social pages for the past year before she moved to Denver, Colorado to join the Colorado Rockies’ social team.
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Bally Sports Sun reporter Tricia Whitaker also is a prevalent name with the Tampa Bay Rays, a field reporter who is beloved by fans.
Who’s on the call for the Tampa Bay Rays?
Now, on Tuesday, a five-person, all-female broadcasting crew will be on the call for the game, including MASN sideline reporter Melanie Newman, MLB.com reporter Sarah Langs, and MLB Network reporters Alanna Rizzo, Heidi Watney, and Lauren Gardner.
We did want to circle back to Tricia Whitaker as while she was invited to be part of the crew, she was unable to go due to a stipulation in her Bally Sports Sun contract forbidding her from working MLB broadcasts, reported by the Tampa Bay Times.
It seems like just a stipulation, but there could be other underlying factors. Regardless, she’s a fantastic reporter and while we won’t see her on the field Tuesday, she and other female reporters have helped paved the way to this point, this game, which is a massive step forward for baseball.
MLB is very much thought of as an old-fashioned sport, and to see any change in the sport is a slow, daunting process that is constantly faced with backlash.
This should not be included in that conversation as we’ve seen other major professional leagues start incorporating female broadcasters into the mix and they are fantastic.
Gender, especially for sports, should not be a barrier people will have to jump over, but the most important thing to take from Tuesday’s game is that the five women who were asked to be part of this broadcast are the first, but won’t be the last.
We as baseball fans are seeing a new generation of baseball fans come in that are different and more open than ever before. This opens the door for so many and will hopefully help bring in the exposure and increased visibility and popularity to the sport we’ve all been wanting.
Congrats to Melanie Newman, Sarah Langs, Alanna Rizzo, Heidi Watney, and Lauren Gardner on breaking this barrier.
You’re now the inspiration for young female baseball fans across the country, the new generation who will be filling your broadcast posts in the future.