Orioles-Rays game will be first time MLB broadcast has all-women on-air crew
Tuesday’s baseball game between the Baltimore Orioles and the Tampa Bay Rays from St. Petersburg, Fla., will be Major League Baseball’s (MLB) first time broadcasting a game with an all-female on-air crew.
The game, which will be the MLB Game of the Week Live on YouTube, will be called by Orioles announcer Melanie Newman, who has been in the role since last year, The New York Times reported.
Newman will be joined by baseball analyst and MLB.com writer Sarah Langs as an analyst in the booth, with MLB reporter Alanna Rizzo handling on-field reporting.
The Times reported that sportscasters Heidi Watney and Lauren Gardner will anchor the pre- and post-game shows.
While women have been involved in baseball broadcast coverage for decades, Tuesday’s game is expected to be the first known one entirely covered by female anchors, reporters and analysts.
Rizzo said in an interview with the Times published Thursday that the upcoming event “can’t help but feel different.”
“I’ve always had a male play-by-play voice in my ear during every game I’ve ever done,” the reporter said. “So, to do a game where those voices are Melanie and Sarah, that will be a unique feeling and a unique perspective of the game.”
“It’s exciting to be a part of something like this,” she continued, adding that the integration of more women in baseball coverage “shows that the world is changing and it’s more accepting of different voices and different looks and perspectives of the game.”
“It’s not an all-male game anymore, and we don’t live in an all-male world,” Rizzo explained.
In 2018, The Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sports gave the MLB a gender grade of “C” on its yearly report card, NPR reported, meaning that just 30 percent of league employees were women.
The report prompted the MLB to make changes and increase its diversity and inclusion efforts. In November 2020, the Miami Marlins tapped Kim Ng to be the team’s new general manager, making her the first female and Asian general manager in the MLB.
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