Baseball broadcaster, Jessica Mendoza, is breaking barriers. She is the first woman, in any major American men’s team sport, to serve as top color commentator for a national network. Something exciting is developing in baseball – the growing role of women in the game – and the ESPN MLB analyst is helping lead the way.
Mendoza was born in 1980 in Camarillo, California and she grew up to be anything but average. During her high school career, Mendoza earned Camarillo High School “Female Athlete of the Year” not once but twice.
Upon graduation, the Los Angeles Times named Mendoza “Player of the Year” and she then went on to play softball for the Stanford Cardinal, earning numerous accolades — she was named “Newcomer of the Year”, USA Softball “Female Athlete of the Year”, and became a two-time Olympic medalist. Post Team USA, Mendoza joined the National Pro Fastpitch with the Arizona Heat.
Fast forward to 2010, Mendoza found her way in front of the camera, appearing as a field reporter for Yahoo! Sports at the 2010 Winter Olympic Games and she also served as the lead college softball analyst on FOX Sports.
Mendoza is a pioneer for women in sports broadcasting — she was the first female broadcaster for ESPN’s College World Series, the first female commentator for a Major League Baseball game on ESPN, and the first female commentator in MLB postseason history.
While Mendoza is comfortable on the field, she showed she can be just as comfortable in a corporate setting. Mendoza served as baseball operations advisor for the Mets and in that role, she, once again, was setting high standards for women in baseball. With the Mets, Mendoza focused primarily on technological advancement as well as health and performance for the organization.
It was announced recently that Mendoza, along with Melanie Newman, will become ESPN’s first all-women broadcast team for a nationally broadcasted MLB game on Sept. 29, 2021.
“I’ve understood from the beginning that I would be representing a lot of girls and women,” Mendoza said. “There is nothing more I want to do than impact girls.”
Mendoza is blazing a trail and battling for equal rights for women in professional baseball, which is not always easy, but she continues to use her platform to encourage women and girls that they can also succeed off the field.
Photo Credits: Instagram