Goldberg-Strassler: An important time for women in Minor League Baseball broadcasting

From SABR member Jesse Goldberg-Strassler at Ballpark Digest on September 28, 2018:

Kirsten Karbach volunteered at her college radio station in Florida. Emma Tiedemann’s grandfather handed her his headset at a college basketball game in Texas. Melanie Newman pursued photojournalism in Alabama. And Suzie Cool juggled six jobs in Pennsylvania. 

In 2018 they worked in the Florida State League, the South Atlantic League, the Texas League, and the Carolina League, respectively — four women joined by a common thread: They broadcast Minor League Baseball games.

These are important times for women in the baseball broadcast booth.

The first female baseball broadcaster was Betty Caywood in 1964, hired by Charlie O. Finley away from her position delivering the weather at Channel 7 in Chicago to do color commentary for a season for the Kansas City A’s. In 1977, reporter Mary Shane, who later became the first woman to cover the Boston Celtics, was given the microphone by Harry Caray for three straight games, followed by a job offer from WMAQ to join Caray, Lorn Brown and Jimmy Piersall on the White Sox broadcasts. She called 20 games in all. “She never had a chance,” said Piersall later. “It was a real shame, because I think she had what it takes to make it, and some day the idea of a woman bringing a woman’s perspective to baseball broadcasting will be a tremendous innovation somewhere.”

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Originally published: October 1, 2018. Last Updated: October 1, 2018.