A year ago, the independent Pacific Association made baseball history when Sean Conroy became the first openly gay player to participate in a pro baseball game, weeks before David Denson became the first openly gay player to play in the affiliated minors.
Later last year, the Pacific Association became the first professional league to use a robot umpire-as the league used computer and tracking technology to call balls and strikes in a game. Now the Pacific Association is going to make history again.
Justine Siegal will serve as the San Rafael Pacifics’ guest manager on June 29-30, becoming what is thought to be the first woman to manage a men’s professional baseball team.
Siegal, the founder of the organization “Baseball For All”--which works to provide opportunities for women in baseball--has already worked as a guest instructor at instructional league with the Oakland Athletics and has worked as the first base coach for the independent leagues’ Broxton Rox in 2009. She also served as an assistant coach for Springfield (Mass.) College from 2008-2010.
“Justine will be making history for the game of baseball and for the ongoing efforts to provide opportunities for women and girls to play baseball," Pacifics president and general manager Mike Shapiro said in a press release. "Women are oftentimes discouraged from playing baseball at a young age and we hope that these two games will help young women and girls to pursue their baseball dreams."
"I am honored to serve as a guest manager for the San Rafael Pacifics," Siegal said. "We will be going for the win while demonstrating that baseball really is a game for all."