On March 10, 1993, Sherry Davis became the first full-time female major league public address announcer. The San Francisco Giants hired her after an open audition of 500 applicants. Davis, a Virginia native, had graduated from the College of Notre Dame in Maryland, earning her B.A. in Theater. She performed at the Norfolk Theater Center in Virginia from 1968 to 1976. Prior to working for the Giants, Davis was a legal secretary in Walnut Creek, California. She earned $75 per game.
Prior to Davis’ debut, Kelly Saunders was a substitute PA announcer for the Baltimore Orioles in June 1992 when regular announcer, Rex Barney, was recuperating from an illness. Saunders was the second female fill-in announcer after Joy Hawkins McCabe had announced one game for the Washington Senators in 1966.
The second full-time female PA announcer for an MLB team – and first African American PA announcer – was Leslie Sterling, who worked for the Boston Red Sox from 1994 to 1996. Sterling, a Harvard graduate, grew up in Washington, DC, as a Senators Fan. After leaving the Red Sox in 1996, Serling went to She entered Harvard’s Divinity School and is became the rector at St. Bartholomew’s Episcopal Church in Cambridge.
When the Giants moved out of Candlestick Park in 2000, they did not renew Sherry Davis’ contract. Instead, they hired Renel Brooks-Moon. Brooks-Moon was born in Oakland, California, in 1958. She attended Mills College, where she earned her B.A. in English in 1981. In addition to being the Giants PA announcer, she also worked for radio station KISQ. She became the first female announcer of a championship game in a professional sport during the 2002 World Series.
In 2018, Marysol Castro became the first female PA announcer for the New York Mets, as well as the first Latina PA announcer and third female PA announcer in MLB. She began her career as an English teacher before attending Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism. Prior to the Mets, she worked for ABC, CBS, and ESPN.
In addition to these stadium announcers, there only one female baseball broadcaster on national television. Jessica Mendoza became the first female commentator for a MLB game in 2015, and in 2016 she joined the ESPN Sunday Night Baseball team full-time as a color analyst. Just last week it was announced that the Mets had hired Mendoza as a baseball operations advisor; she will also continue broadcasting Sunday night games for ESPN.
Few women have done play-by-play announcing for baseball. In 1993, Gayle Gardner became the first woman to do so when she called a Reds-Rockies game. Las year, Jenny Cavnar became the second woman play-by-play announcer when she did the play-by-play for the Rockies on AT&T SportsNet.
In the 1990s in the minors, Lisa Fielding, was the PA announcer for the Rockford Cubbies of the Midwest League and Lisa Morris was the announcer for the New York-Penn League’s Hudson Valley Renegades. In 2013, the Lansing Lugnuts hired Michigan State sophomore Jennifer Swanchara as their PA announcer in 2013. Currently, the Beloit Snappers have PA announcer Chrissy Scaffidi and the Bowie Baysox have Adrienne Roberson. Roberson gets the occasional “call up” to the Orioles, such as for the Mother’s Day game.
Later this month, we’ll take a look at women announcing baseball on radio.