Melanie Newman is already a pioneer in MLB broadcasting, serving as the play-by-play radio announcer for the Baltimore Orioles since last year, and making history last month as the second woman ever to do the same for a nationally broadcast MLB game (Suzyn Waldman famously did so in the mid-'90s). Now, Newman is about to helm another first: Next Tuesday, when the Orioles play the Tampa Bay Rays in St. Petersburg, Fla., she'll be part of an all-woman team calling the game, the only time that's believed to have happened for an entire broadcast of an MLB game, per the New York Times. As usual, Newman will do the play-by-play, while a crew of MLB reporters will handle the rest: Sarah Langs doing in-booth analysis, Heidi Watney and Lauren Gardner taking over the pre- and post-game shows, and Alanna Rizzo reporting on the field.
"It can't help but feel different," Rizzo tells the Times of the upcoming event. "I've always had a male play-by-play voice in my ear during every game I've ever done. So, to do a game where those voices are Melanie and Sarah, that will be a unique feeling." The ladies aren't just entering America's pastime via the broadcasting booth: MLB now has its first female GM, the minors have several, and girls and women are increasingly joining Little League and college baseball teams. The Times notes that women have already taken over broadcasting duties for the NHL, NFL, and NBA, as well as for Major League Soccer, "and now it is baseball's turn." Newman says she recognizes the import of the moment, but "we also want to make sure that while we are getting all these firsts in there, that we also are not the last." (Read more MLB stories.)