We’ve got some history to celebrate today, as a major baseball milestone arrived this weekend.
Kelsie Whitmore, who was one of the first women to ever play modern pro baseball in the United States, has now started a game in the Atlantic League:
— USA Baseball (@USABaseball) May 1, 2022
— Billie Jean King (@BillieJeanKing) May 2, 2022
The Atlantic League does not host Minor League affiliates, but it does have an official relationship with Major League Baseball as a testing league for rules, and it is generally considered among the best independent leagues as far as talent goes. Players are routinely signed into affiliated ball out of the Atlantic League. The competition level is legit.
Kelsie Whitmore is certainly proving a lot of people wrong tonight 😳 pic.twitter.com/vigGAw3UWR
— SI FerryHawks (@FerryHawks) May 1, 2022
Although Whitmore did not register a hit in her start, she did get hit by a pitch, so that OBP reached a solid .333! Maybe not a long-term strategy for reaching base, but it’s a start. I love to see this, and I love seeing that younger girls will grow up knowing that, whether it’s softball or baseball, playing this game is achievable.
On the 1.5 hour trip home after seeing the @gohoneyhunters play the @FerryHawks, the statement “If @KelsieWhitmore can do it, I can do it” was made at least 100x. Thank you so much! We’ll be rooting for you!!! pic.twitter.com/tuI8SM5e0k
— Paul Worley he/him/his (@Tsikbalichmaya) May 2, 2022
As for Whitmore, 23, this is hopefully just the start of a long pro career. It’s only a matter of time before a woman plays in affiliated minor league baseball, and maybe it will wind up being her.
"It's an honor to be able to be recognized by those younger girls to be someone that they can look up to."
— MLB Network (@MLBNetwork) May 3, 2022