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Justine Siegal becomes first woman to throw batting practice to MLB team

Feb 21, 2011, 6:30 PM EDT

Justine Siegal

Justine Siegal has made a habit out of breaking down barriers. She became the first woman to coach a professional baseball team when she was hired as the first base coach of the independent league Brockton Rox in 2009. She has also spent the past four years as the assistant baseball coach at Springfield College in Massachusetts. On Monday, she added another impressive accomplishment to the list.

According to the Associated Press, Siegal became the first woman to pitch batting practice to a major league team when she threw for the Indians earlier today.

Siegal, a Cleveland native who grew up rooting for the Tribe, was given the opportunity to throw after approaching general manager Chris Antonetti during December’s winter meetings. On Monday, the 36-year-old Siegal got to live out every fan’s dream, throwing BP to a few players in major league camp, including catcher Paul Phillips, Lou Marson and Juan Apodaca.

“I wanted to be Orel Hershiser,” Siegal said of the starting pitcher who played for Cleveland in the mid-1990s. “Following the Indians is in my blood.”

“My heart was beating really fast,” Siegal said. “I’ve been thinking about this for the last month.”

Siegal wore a patch honoring Christina Taylor Green, who was killed in last month’s shooting in Tucson, Arizona. Green was the only girl on her local Little League baseball team. Awesome stuff.

And just in case you were ready to say that the Indians don’t count as a major league team, you should know that Siegal is scheduled to throw batting practice for the Athletics on Wednesday, as well.

  1. stevens - Feb 21, 2011 at 6:40 PM

    Not to be callous, but shouldn’t it be Siegal who is scheduled to throw batting practice for the A’s next Wednesday?

    • cur68 - Feb 21, 2011 at 6:44 PM

      I’m glad you said it, because I noticed that, too. Just goes to show, I’m not the only guy who forgets the subject of his sentence. Whatever, though. I hope Siegal plunks one of them. Now that’ll be a headline I’d like to see!

      • D.J. Short - Feb 21, 2011 at 6:52 PM

        My deepest apologies.

      • cur68 - Feb 21, 2011 at 6:59 PM

        re. “My deepest apologies.” no worries. Been there, too.

  2. spudchukar - Feb 21, 2011 at 7:00 PM

    Tomorrow’s Headline: Yanks offer Siegal minor league deal!

    • cur68 - Feb 21, 2011 at 7:02 PM

      …and then Hank disses her for building a house.

    • Panda Claus - Feb 21, 2011 at 7:31 PM

      Dang, you all beat me to it.

      Then again she’ll probably turn down the offer saying she was holding out for a major league deal. Of course she also could be afraid of getting crushed between Garcia, Colon, CC and Joba during a pitcher’s drill around the buffet table.

      • cur68 - Feb 21, 2011 at 9:01 PM

        aaaarg, the mental image is painful! Pass the brain bleach…

    • muhangis - Feb 22, 2011 at 1:17 AM

      no rather, tomorrow’s headline: Siegal goes back to the kitchen where she belongs!

  3. phukyouk - Feb 21, 2011 at 10:07 PM

    “And just in case you were ready to say that the Indians don’t count as a major league team, you should know that Siegal is scheduled to throw batting practice for the Athletics on Wednesday, as well.”

    GDDAMIT! that was literally the first thing i thought when you wrote that. can’t you let us cynics have a little fun?

  4. florida76 - Feb 21, 2011 at 11:05 PM

    Who cares about batting practice? This is just a publicity stunt we’ve seen pulled off in other sports, going back to the days the White Sox put in a midget to bat in a game. Then we had the NBA’s Pacers having a woman player participate in practices.

    Men and women are equal, but we’re not the same. Not in sports or the military, it’s a fact of life.

    • avermaver - Feb 21, 2011 at 11:40 PM

      Yikes dude, nobody was begging you to care. It obviously meant something to Seagal and made a nice little story. You don’t have to turn it into a gender debate.

  5. muhangis - Feb 22, 2011 at 1:13 AM

    What a boring damn story. A-league spring training seems exciting compared to this

  6. muhangis - Feb 22, 2011 at 1:15 AM

    Who cares? btw why isn’t she in the kitchen?

    • paperlions - Feb 22, 2011 at 7:13 AM

      Why are you stuck in the 19th century?

  7. alan3008 - Feb 22, 2011 at 4:06 AM

    The Indians probably can’t even get a hit off of her! 😉

  8. phukyouk - Feb 23, 2011 at 10:24 AM

    I heard K-Rod was hitting her… errr… hitting ON her.

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