Out of Bounds: First female MLB coach fights for gender equality in the sport she loves

Posted at 1:04 PM, Apr 20, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-20 13:04:24-04

Justine Siegal is a female baseball coach.

She’s made history multiple times, including becoming the first woman to throw batting practice to a Major League Baseball team. However, her journey is not an easy one and never has been a smooth ride.

“I was 13 when my new coach said I should quit baseball and go play softball because I was a girl and that was the day I decided I would play baseball forever,” Siegal told News 5. “Baseball became much harder the more and more everyone told me to quit. I had very few fun times but I wouldn’t quit because the more they wanted me to quit, the more I was going to stay.”

Lauren Brill produces the regular feature "Out of Bounds."

She continues to fight for her career as a baseball coach, as well as gender equity in the sport she loves. She started a non-profit Baseball for All, which gives young girls the opportunity to play baseball. 

“I ended up coaching college baseball for three years. I got my PhD in sports psychology and onto pro ball and throwing bp and so on,” she said.  “The most difficult thing for me is knowing that I am going to keep working and keep going forward as fast as I can, not knowing if it's ever going to happen.  My life is a lot like hitting your head against the wall just hoping it will move an inch.”

While, it appears as though her journey is simply about baseball, she’s actually battling a cause far larger than just inclusion in sports.

“You tell a girl she can’t play baseball what else will she thinks she can’t do? What else do boys think they can't do? So it’s the same thing as keeping girls out of math or keeping girls out of science,” she said. “To me, it’s a social justice issue and that is why I am so passionate about it."

For Justine, her career and life’s mission is not just about telling girls they can play baseball, but more importantly, sending the message to all, that girls can do anything their heart desires by providing them with the opportunity to do so.

More information about Baseball For All here.