We live in a world where more and more boundaries disappear every day. Things that were deemed impossible or unthinkable a decade ago are now part of the everyday fabric.
One of the last remaining bastions of division, though, is the fact that there are no women in male sports. But MLB doesn’t stand for Male League Baseball, so is there a woman on the horizon that may one day play in Major League Baseball?
Occasionally when this thought experiment has come up previously, the most common idea is that perhaps a woman could be a knuckleball pitcher. The knuckleball is the great equalizer in terms of the velocity arms race that all teams are engaged in currently. Plus, pitchers aren’t expected to be good hitters, so it wouldn’t be a problem if the woman was a sub-par hitter against male-dominated competition.
But in today’s age, woman don’t settle, nor should they. A couple of years ago, a then-16 year-old shortstop in France, named Melissa Mayeux, made history by becoming the first female to register for the MLB International Draft. At the time, she hoped to stay in France until she was 18 and then try to head stateside. She currently plays for the Montpelier Barracudas in France’s top league. Here’s a clip video of her (feel free to mute, unless the music adds to your experience):
Now 18, Mayeux has not been signed by any team that I’m aware of in the current International Draft window that started on July 2nd. She’s been on plenty of European elite teams, so MLB teams are definitely aware of what she can and can’t do. By all limited scouting accounts that exist, she can play legitimate defense. Her hit tool appears to be quite weak, though, but there have been plenty of no-hit/good-glove shortstops in MLB’s history. The Pirates have employed quite a few of them!
Last summer, the independent team called the Sonoma Stompers signed three women to play for them. The one with the most upside potential, based solely on her age, was Kelsie Whitmore. The 17-year old played left field and made some history with her first hit, even though the runner got thrown out at the plate and prevented her from getting an RBI.
? Sonoma Stompers (@SonomaStompers) July 20, 2016
Maybe neither of these two women will be the ones to break the glass ceiling and enter MLB. But perhaps it’s a young girl who is watching one of these two (or other women playing for men’s baseball teams throughout the country) that will be the Jacqueline Robinson for female baseball players.
It’s hard to pin down how long this may take. But with the rapidly changing pace of the world today, 10 years isn’t unreasonable to think we may see a woman cross the white lines.