Women Who Announce Baseball Games

black headset hanging on black and gray microphone

Photo by Barthy Bonhomme on Pexels.com

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.

~ baseballrebecca





Films on Friday: AFL’s First Pride Night

On Wednesday, the Arizona Fall League held its first-ever Pride Night. The Salt River Rafter hosted the Peoria Javelinas and MLB VP and special assistant to the Commissioner, Billy Bean, for a celebration of baseball, diversity, and inclusion. Check out the video below:


Happy Friday!

~ baseballrebecca

Hispanic Heritage and la Copa de la Diversión

Hispanic Heritage Month may be over, but the Copa de la Diversión is going strong! Last week, Ballpark Digest announced its pick for its “2018 Best New Logo/Branding” award. According to the publication, the award “honors the team executing the best rebranding, from design to reception. [For 2018], There is one winner, with 33 different teams represented. Minor League Baseball’s Copa de La Diversión was an ambitious nationwide campaign and overwhelming success, earning our Best New Logo(s)/Branding of the Year citation.”


The Baseball Sociologist, her husband, and the Bowie Baysox/Cangrejos Fantasmas Latino players

After three years of research, Minor League Baseball unveiled their year-long Copa promotion in March. Thirty-three teams participated, including Los Cangrejos Fantasmas de Chesapeake (Bowie Baysox). At the 156 Copa games played in 2018, average attendance was 4,857 per game, approximately 1,000 more per game than the typical MiLB game. Retail sales related to the Copa de la Diversión topped $3.5 million. And, yes, there will be a Copa winner. It will be awarded to the team “that best connected with its community.” The winner will be announced in December at the Baseball Winter Meetings.

In 2019, the Copa de La Diversión will expand to 72 MiLB teams – 39 new teams will join the 33 teams that participated this year. I certainly enjoyed meeting my team’s Latin players this year, and hope to do so again next year!

~ baseballrebecca



MLB Activities for Hispanic Heritage Month


Roberto Clemente, 1962 (photograph courtesy of Wikipedia)

Hispanic Heritage Month is officially from September 15 through October 15. However, many MLB clubs have already begun the celebration. On Monday, MLB issued a press release on the activities they will host during Hispanic Heritage Month (I still want to know how I can get a Ponle Acento shirt):

MLB celebrates Hispanic and Latino culture & contributions throughout September

In addition, voting is underway for the 2018 Robert Clemente Award, which is “bestowed annually to the player who best represents the game of Baseball through extraordinary character, community involvement, philanthropy and positive contributions, both on and off the field.” You can vote at MLB.com/clemente21.

In a related note, last week, Bryce Harper wore specially-designed cleats in honor of Roberto Clemente Day. He also won National League Player of the Week last week. Just a coincidence?

~ baseballrebecca

Copa de la Diversión y Latino Heritage Nights

dscn6884-e1531358499195.jpgThis season, 33 minor league teams have been competing in the Copa de la Diversión – the Fun Cup. According to the MiLB website, this season-long promotion is “specifically designed to embrace the culture and values that resonate most with participating teams’ local U.S. Hispanic/Latino communities.” The campaign follows the 2017 marketing campaign, “It’s Fun to Be a Fan” (“Es Divertido Ser Un Fan”). It’s also an opportunity to sell cool Spanish-language merch and be silly in a whole other language.

DSCN6880There were 165 games this season designated as “Copa” games, so there is still plenty of time to catch one. I had the pleasure of attending the Cangrejos Fantasmas de Chesapeake’s (Ghost Crabs, aka Bowie Baysox) event on June 26. Players were announced in both English and Spanish, Latin music was played throughout the game, and the concession stand included tacos, nachos, yucca, frijoles, and plantanitos fritos.

Of course, this is in addition to the regularly scheduled Latino heritage nights that are found throughout both MLB and MiLB. Check out the list of remaining Latino heritage nights below – and definitely check out the Copa de la Diversión!

~ baseballrebecca

Date Event Team
13-Jul Dominican Heritage Night White Sox
14-Jul Nicaraguan Heritage Day Marlins
15-Jul Hispanic Day at the Ballpark Norfolk
24-Jul Latin Fiesta Bowie
27-Jul Colombian Heritage Celebration Marlins
9-Aug Latino Night Syracuse
11-Aug Dominican Heritiage Night Marlins
11-Aug Fiesta Tigres (special tix) Tigers
16-Aug Goya Latino Family Celebration Phillies
26-Aug Cuba Day Dodgers
26-Aug Latino Family Festival Red Sox
1-Sep Viva Los Reales Royals
5-Sep Roberto Clemente & Hispanic Heritage Day Nationals
7-Sep Hispanic Heritage Night White Sox
8-Sep Hispanic Heritage Day Diamondbacks
9-Sep Hispanic Heritage Day A’s
9-Sep Dia de los Rockies Rockies
15-Sep Fiesta Gigantes Giants
16-Sep Hispanic Heritage Street Fest Astros
16-Sep Los Bravos Day Braves
16-Sep Fiesta Cardenales Cardinals
19-Sep Dia de los Dodgers Night Dodgers
22-Sep Hispanic Heritage Night Rangers
23-Sep Mexican Heritage Celebration Marlins
28-Sep Fiesta Rojos Reds
14-16-Sep Hispanic Heritage Weekend Padres
7-9-Sep Fiesta Weekend Pirates

2018 Heritage & Community Days, Part 2

Heritage and community days and nights for Catholics, Episcopalians, Jews, Mormons, and other faith groups are scheduled throughout July, August, and September. Check out the list below.

~ baseballrebecca

Date Event Team
10-Jul Catholic Night Red Sox
13-Jul Catholic Night Padres
27-Jul Episcopal Night Padres
27-Jul Faith Night Pirates
28-Jul Mormon Night Padres
29-Jul Faith Day Rockies
29-Jul Jewish Heritage Night (special tix) Tigers
5-Aug Jewish Heritage Day Binghamton
5-Aug Jewish Community Day Dodgers
8-Aug Jewish Heritage Night A’s
9-Aug Jewish Heritage Night Trenton
12-Aug Jewish Community Day Padres
16-Aug Jewish Heritage Night Pirates
19-Aug Jewish Community Day Nationals
29-Aug Jewish Heritage Night Giants
1-Sep Fellowship Day Giants
22-Sep Faith Day Nationals