It’s only a matter of time.
I truly believe that a female baseball player will play in the Major Leagues at some point in my lifetime. Gender will not forever block talent, and there’s a whole lot of talent out there. But while getting a female ball player to the big leagues is the broader (metaphorical) “war,” there are plenty of battles to win along the way.
Yesterday, one of those battles was won:
BREAKING | Claire Eccles of @UBCSoftball will become first female to ever play baseball in the West Coast League
— UBC Thunderbirds (@ubctbirds) May 16, 2017
Claire Eccles, a knuckleballer, has/will soon become the first female ever in the West Coast League (a summer baseball league that, according to ESPN, “attracts some of the best collegiate level baseball players in North America”).
Hell freakin’ yeah.
At just 19 years old, Eccles has already pitched in two Women’s Baseball World Cups and the 2015 Pan-Am Games, but she’s about to take her career to a whole new level.
“A hundred percent Claire is good enough to play on our team,” HarbourCats general manager Brad Norris-Jones told CBC before signing Eccles. “Is it going to be a challenge for Claire? Absolutely. We’re just going to get everyone involved and show that in 2017 this isn’t different, this isn’t weird. It’s normal.”
Eccles is a left-handed pitcher from British Columbia who, as I mentioned before, primarily relies upon a knuckleball for her outs. And while she knows she may have an uphill battle ahead of her, she has all the confidence she’ll need. “I never thought I could get an opportunity like this,” Eccles said. “I’m obviously not going to be the fastest pitcher in the league, but I have some good off-speed pitches that will keep hitters on their toes.”
I’ll be rooting for her. I can’t wait to see what she can do.