11 women who would make kickass MLB announcers

When women get jobs as broadcasters with Major League Baseball teams, most of them head to the same place.

The sidelines.

For various reasons, the television announcers’ booth remains a man’s domain. None of the 30 teams in Major League Baseball have a female announcer regularly calling games on TV.

The problem certainly isn’t a lack of qualified women. To illustrate the point, we’ve put together a list of 11 women who would make excellent candidates for the broadcast booth.

Caveats: These women may not actually want the job, we just think they would be good at it.

1. Jessica Mendoza

Covers: MLB
Company: ESPN
Twitter: @jessmendoza

Kanye West & Common Perform At The Nike+Human Race's Post Run Concert

At a 10k race in Los Angeles, August 2008 (Photo by Michael Buckner/Getty Images)

Her credentials: The sports announcer made her name as a softball star. She won two Olympic medals with Team USA—gold in 2004 and silver in 2008—and has three world championship medals on top of that. Her stats in those five competitions, via espnW: .372 batting average, nine home runs, and 44 RBIs. Just plain dominant.

She retired from pro softball in May 2014 and now serves as an ESPN college softball and baseball analyst. She also contributes to the network’s flagship MLB program, Baseball Tonight. A full-time announcing gig seems like the natural next step.

“I have enjoyed growing as an analyst within both college softball and baseball and look forward to hopefully using that same knowledge in the booth for an MLB game as well,” she told Fusion via email.

2. Alanna Rizzo

Covers: Los Angeles Dodgers
Company: SportsNet LA
Twitter: @alannarizzo


Interviewing Hall of Famer Sandy Koufax (Credit: Time Warner Cable SportsNet LA)

Her credentials: Rizzo is entering her second season with the Dodgers as a sideline reporter, but she’s covered games for the Colorado Rockies and MLB Network. Beyond that, she speaks fluent Spanish and translates in real-time for stars like Yasiel Puig.

Legendary announcer Vin Scully will eventually leave the booth and right now the Dodgers have three men — Nomar Garciaparra, Orel Hershiser and Charley Steiner — poised to take over. If they were smart, they’d add Rizzo to the mix.

3. Renel Brooks-Moon

Job: Public address announcer
Team: San Francisco Giants

San Francisco Giants Victory Parade and Civic Celebration

Speaking at the Giants World Series victory parade in October 2014 (Credit: Jason O. Watson/Getty Images)

Her credentials: She’s been the PA announcer for the Giants since AT&T Park opened in 2000 and is currently the only woman holding such a position in Major League Baseball (there have been three in history, according to espnW).

She grew up in the Bay Area rooting for the Giants and the A’s, and cites her father — San Francisco’s first black high school principal — as her role model. “My dad set the standard,” she told MLB.com in 2011.

Brooks-Moon is proud of the example she’s been able to set for young people, as well.

“I love all the great perks that come with this gig, but what is most important to me is that what I’m doing matters for generations to come, especially for young women,” she told espnW.

4. Ghazaleh “Oz” Sailors

Occupation: student
Twitter: @ozziesailors


Pitching during a game in 2014 (Courtesy photo)

Her credentials: She’s already breaking down barriers. Sailors is the only female NCAA baseball player, anchoring the pitching rotation at the University of Maine-Presque Isle. She’s not a gimmick, either. As a junior last year, she led the team in ERA and innings pitched, The Boston Globe reported.

An announcing career might be premature at this point, but the Santa Barbara, California, native said she wants to stick with baseball in one form or another for the rest of her life.

“I would absolutely love to be an announcer when I’m done playing,” she told Fusion. “That would be awesome. You get to wake up in the morning and watch baseball games.”

5. Lauren Shehadi

Covers: MLB
Company: MLB Network
Twitter: @LaurenShehadi


Shehadi with Matt Vasgersian (left) and Mark DeRosa (right)

Her credentials: She’s one of the hosts of the network’s new morning show, MLB Central. The gig is a big deal: it’s the first program to broadcast out of the network’s new 8,000-foot studio.

Before this, she hosted MLB Network’s The Rundown and has served as a field reporter during live game broadcasts. She’s been known to rip lines drives on set.

6. Perry Barber

Covers: MLB
Company: professional umpire
Twitter: @perrybarber

Willie Randolph, Rich Maloney, Perry Barber, Mona Osborne, Theresa Fairlady, Ila Valcarcel

Barber (left) serves as home plate umpire for a 2008 spring training game between the New York Mets and the University of Michigan (CredIt: AP Photo/Nati Harnik)

Her credentials: Barber became a professional umpire in 1981 and is currently one of the longest-serving, active female umpires. She’s umpired games for Major League Baseball during spring training and still works more than 150 games a year, between spring training, college, high school, and other leagues.

She’s outspoken about the gender disparity among baseball announcers. “There’s no reason on earth why women wouldn’t make every bit as knowledgeable and entertaining announcers as any of the current crop of mostly white dudes,” she wrote in an email (referencing a Fusion article about the prevalence of “white dudes” in MLB announcing).

She’s served as an announcer for the Hudson Valley Renegades, a minor league affiliate of the Tampa Bay Rays, so she has experience. And no worries about her mastering the baseball trivia—she was a Jeopardy champion at the age of 19.

7. Christina Kahrl

Covers: MLB
Company: ESPN
Twitter: @ChristinaKahrl


Kahrl in 2009 (Credit: SABR/Wikimedia)


Her credentials: Want someone who can tell a good anecdote but also understands sabermetrics? Kahrl, a co-founder of the analytical website Baseball Prospectus and an ESPN writer/editor, would be a good catch.

She’s also a vocal transgender activist and has spoken about how baseball eased her transition.

8. Susan Slusser

Covers: Oakland Athletics
Company: The San Francisco Chronicle
Twitter: @susanslusser

World Series - Kansas City Royals v San Francisco Giants - Game Three

Slusser (center) with actor Eric Stonestreet (left) and Giants owner Larry Baer (right) before Game Three of the 2014 World Series in San Francisco. (Credit: Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

Her credentials: She’s been the A’s beat writer for 17 seasons and received glowing reviews from fans in a crowd-sourced guide by Deadspin.

Few reporters can claim to know a baseball team better. Don’t believe it? Listen to this story she reported about Yoenis Céspedes getting stranded on a small island in the Caribbean on their way from Cuba to the U.S.

9. Sam Ryan

Covers: MLB
Company: MLB Network
Twitter: @SamRyanMLB


Her credentials: She’s covered some high-profile games for the league, working as a field reporter during the MLB Network’s Showcase games, including playoff coverage. Before that, she served as the lead sports anchor for the CBS television affiliate in New York and CBS Sports.

And you have to give her credit for how she kept her cool during three rough interviews after a Milwaukee Brewers postseason win in 2011.

10. Heidi Watney

Covers: MLB
Company: MLB Network
Twitter: @HeidiWatney

Gatorade All-Star Workout Day

Interviewing American League All Star Kevin Youkilis in 2011 (Credit: Jeff Gross/Getty Images)

Her credentials: Watney covered the Boston Red Sox from 2008 to 2011 before moving to the MLB Network, where she serves as a studio host and reporter.

Before leaving the Red Sox, she spoke to local radio announcers about trying to get interviews in a competitive sports-reporting environment.

Watney was runner up for Miss California in 2002, but when she joined the Sox in 2008, she told the Worcester Telegram & Gazette she didn’t want to be defined by that.

“In California, I wasn’t really known as a former beauty queen,” she said. “It was just when I was hired here and someone heard that I had competed in a pageant. That wasn’t a huge part of my life.”

11. Alex Curry

Covers: Los Angeles Angeles
Company: FOX Sports West
Twitter: @Alex_Curry

The Academy Of Television Arts & Sciences 65th Los Angeles Area Emmy Awards - Arrivals

Attending the 2013 Academy Of Television Arts & Sciences 65th Los Angeles Area Emmy Awards. (Credit: Paul A. Hebert/Getty Images)

Her credentials: Curry serves as a sideline reporter for the Angels and hosts a weekly baseball show Aside from baseball work, she also covers the Los Angeles Kings and has a wide portfolio in sports reporting.

Curry isn’t really your traditional MLB announcer—she’s done more field reporting—but she would bring personality to the booth.