After Suzie Cool became the first woman-broadcaster in the Carolina League last year, she’ll make history again this season, partnering in the booth with Melanie Newman to make the first all-female broadcast team in professional baseball.
Newman will serve as the play-by-play announcer for the Salem Red Sox, Boston’s Single-A affiliate, with Cool returning as the broadcast’s color analyst.
“Melanie’s experience is going to be an amazing addition to our broadcasts this year,” team president and general manager C. Ryan Shelton said in a statement. “Her knowledge and extensive background in the game is going to provide insight for our fans that is going to be so different from what they have heard in the past. She and Suzie are going to take this historical moment for the game of baseball and make this season one to remember for the organization.”
Newman’s credentials include contributions to the ACC Network, GameDay Radio, sideline reporting for Fox Sports Southwest and working as play-by-play announcer for the Texas Rangers Double-A affiliate, the Frisco Roughriders.
“I’m so beyond thrilled to be joining Salem for numerous reasons,” said Newman. “The timing could not have been more perfect; the ability to finally work with Suzie, after bonding over social media, the way most of us women in sports have, makes everything come full circle. The cherry on top is working in the farm system of the team that my family is rooted in. I can’t wait to start sharing Salem’s stories with its fans.”
Newman will replace Ben Gellman on the broadcast who worked alongside Suzie Cool during the last two seasons. According to the Sox, their job posting last October for a play-by-play announcer received no female applicants.
The Sox first hired Dominic Cotreno to replace Gellman, but in late January the radio voice instead accepted a Double-A job with the Corpus Christi Hooks. Around the same time, 27-year old Melanie Newman was let go from the Frisco Roughriders due to budget cuts and became a match for the Salem Sox vision of an all-female broadcast booth.
Salem Red Sox games are carried by ESPN Roanoke 1240 AM and ESPN Blacksburg 810 AM, also available via the TuneIn App and salemsox.com.