A very good summer for women in sports continues to get better with the announcement that Jessica Mendoza will be an analyst for ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball for the rest of 2015.
ESPN PR broke the news of Mendoza’s new role Friday on Twitter.
Mendoza will be filling the role that has previously been held by Curt Schilling. The former Major League Baseball All-Star was officially taken off of the network’s telecasts for the remainder of this season Thursday following a controversial tweet he sent out last month, per ESPN.com.
This seems like a move ESPN has been contemplating since Schilling was taken off television last month, as Mendoza made history as the network’s first in-booth female broadcaster during an August 24 game between the St. Louis Cardinals and the Arizona Diamondbacks.
In an interview with Renee Jacques of Allure magazine that ran the day of her first broadcast, Mendoza said she wanted to bring her own perspective to the game and the job (via Paul Casella of MLB.com):
“I just want to make sure I do a really good job. I’m assuming the average baseball viewer is going to notice and think, OK, this is a female voice. I haven’t heard this before. I want to come in and do my thing. I want to be who I am—I don’t want to change that—but I want to make sure I am extra knowledgeable and prepared so I can maybe bring something extra. I’d love for someone listening to be like, Wow, I didn’t know that.”
Mendoza has been working her way through the broadcasting ranks since her softball career ended. She’s been an analyst on Baseball Tonight since June 2014 and moved in the broadcast booth for the Women’s College World Series this summer.
This promotion for Mendoza comes in a summer when Becky Hammon coached the San Antonio Spurs’ NBA Summer League team to a title, Nancy Lieberman was hired as an assistant with the Sacramento Kings and Jen Welter just ended a stint as a training camp/preseason intern coaching inside linebackers with the Arizona Cardinals.
There is still a long way for women to go before their voice simply becomes an everyday part of the sports conversation instead of major news, but their prominence in various roles this summer suggests a natural evolution that’s been long overdue.
Credit to the Bleacher Report who originally published this article