Stanford alum to be first female analyst in MLB history

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Former Stanford All-American softball player Jessica Mendoza will be the first-full time female analyst in Major League Baseball in 2016. (KGO-TV)

Former Stanford All-American softball player Jessica Mendoza will be the first full-time female analyst in Major League Baseball in 2016. She will be doing Sunday night games on ESPN with former big leaguer Aaron Boone. Mendoza was with the San Francisco Giants Wednesday in Scottsdale.

Mendoza was one of the best hitters in the history of softball at the college and professional level. Now she's taking on the role of pioneer analyzing MLB and is up for the challenge.

Mendoza worked part-time as an analyst in 2015 from August through October in MLB and was hoping to make this a permanent gig.

Mendoza told ABC7, "I wasn't surprised on the full-time, I mean, that was my hope at the end of the season was to just cover baseball the entire year. I wasn't necessarily thinking on what night or what show, but I definitely wanted to be there from beginning to end."

She has been visiting camps throughout Arizona and the reception from players has been mixed.

Mendoza explained, "It depends on the guy. I think, to me, the more educated and honestly generationally, I think a lot of the players have been amazing with just understanding like, 'She played. I played. Like what's the difference? We can just kind of talk shop.' And that's really all I want to do is be able to get into the game and not have it be a barrier."

There are also plenty of doubters. She said, "I'm always going to get naysayers. They're out there and they'll come at me, but for the most part it's those that I want to share and talk information with it, that matter the most."

Her dad was a baseball coach, she was the only girl playing with the boys in Little League and as a former top level athlete, Mendoza loves the challenge of being a pioneer.

"Regardless of the fact that I didn't want it to be about me being a female, I was aware of the responsibility of being one and honestly wanting to do a good job so that other women could follow," Mendoza explained.

Her co-anchor is former major leaguer Aaron Boone and he knows she will be successful. He said, "I think it will be a short time to where she'll bring some of even the most skeptical people over to her side when they see what she brings to the table."

Baseball of all the pro sports is probably one of the most old-boy networks, so it's going to take an adjustment from the players. But Mendoza says she has no problem criticizing players because she was never teammates and eventually just wants to be considered one of the guys.

And if she's as delightful as she was with me today, she's going to be a huge success.

Related Topics:
sportsMLBSan Francisco GiantsathletesbaseballESPNPalo AltoArizona
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