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ESPN to feature first all-female MLB broadcast
Baseball announcers Melanie Newman and Jessica Mendoza will mark a milestone for ESPN when they team up to broadcast a nationally televised MLB game for the network next week.
The sports giant's first all-female broadcast team will take the stage Sept. 29 for a game that has yet to be determined by the network, CNN Business first reported.
Newman and Mendoza previously made history in separate broadcasts. Newman joined the league's first all-female broadcast crew for a game on YouTube in July, while Mendoza, who has been with ESPN since 2007, called a nationally televised playoff game in 2015, according to the network.
"Honestly, each earmark is just another page," Newman told CNN Business. "I feel fortunate to be the one handed this chance, it's our responsibility until there are no more firsts and it's just an even playing field of all-qualified professionals who happen to look different."
Mendoza, a two-time Olympic medalist with the U.S. women's national softball team, underscored the importance of diverse voices, saying "it is important to have more people represent the game of baseball."
"For young girls, women and Latinas, to hear a voice that represents them is so impactful for not only the sport to grow its audience, but to continue to broaden the opportunities for more young girls, women and Latinas to do the same," Mendoza added.
Newman, who is slated to provide play-by-play commentary for two ESPN baseball telecasts - with the first on Wednesday evening - reiterated the importance of representation.
"Representation absolutely matters," Newman told the outlet. "The number of younger girls who have felt they couldn't be a fan of sports in general solely out of not seeing women in front still amazes me."