The Athletics became the first major league team to hire a female coach Tuesday when they named Justine Siegal a guest instructor for their Instructional League team.
Siegal’s hiring follows the likes of San Antonio Spurs coach Becky Hammon and former Arizona Cardinals coach Jen Welter, who each became the first female coaches in their respective leagues last summer. She was the first woman to throw batting practice for a Major League team a few years ago. Although this is only a temporary job, A’s assistant general manager David Forst said that a full-time coaching position could open up for Siegal in the future.
The Oakland Athletics, long one of baseball’s most progressive organizations, have hired MLB’s first female coach.
In the spring of 2011, Siegal threw batting practice for the A’s, the Indians, the Rays, the Cardinals, the Astros and the Mets.
Siegal’s role in Fall Instructs is a phenomenal step for women in baseball. “She sees baseball as singular door able to open a girl’s mind to a multitude of possibilities”.
Siegal has a PhD in sport and exercise psychology from Springfield and a master’s in sports studies from Kent State.
Baseball player and coach Justine Siegal founded an organization called Baseball For All, which “fosters, encourages, and provides opportunities for girls to participate in baseball”.
The A’s said that Siegal will work with infielders, hit popups and throw batting practice, among other yet to be announced duties. “And I do like talking about life skills; I like to help people achieve their life goals”.
Siegel isn’t too anxious about being accepted by male pro athletes, saying, “I’ve found from experience that men are surprised to have a woman coach, but when they realize you know what you’re talking about and that you care, you fit right in with the rest of the staff”.
In June, a 16-year-old French shortstop made MLB history when her name was added to the worldwide registration list, making her eligible to be signed by a Major League club.
“I’ve wanted to be a coach since I was 16 years old”, Siegal said.