Kelsie Whitmore’s hit signed with the Sonoma Stompers on June 28, and already she has planted herself in making a career in baseball. On Wednesday, Whitmore took a huge step toward furthering her dream by collecting her first professional hit in the Pacific Association of Professional Baseball Clubs independent league.
Whitmore’s big moment came during Sonoma’s 4-2 loss to San Rafael. With two outs and two runners on base in the fourth inning, Kelsie Whitmore’s hit was a clean single through the right side of the infield that nearly got Sonoma on the scoreboard.
Unfortunately, the lead runner was thrown at home, so no RBI was attached to the hit. Still, this is obviously a big moment for Whitmore on a personal level and a historic moment for baseball on several levels.
Whitmore is not the first woman to record a hit in professional baseball, but she may be the first during a larger movement to make baseball more inclusive. Whitmore, who pitches and plays outfield, is joined on Sonoma’s roster by Stacy Piagno, a 25-year-old pitcher who spends time in the infield. Together, they make Sonoma the first co-ed professional baseball team since the 1950’s in the Negro Leagues.
The team has also announced they’ll be adding a third woman to the club when catcher Anna Kimbell joins them on Friday. Along with Whitmore, they will form the first-ever all-female battery.
Needless to say, the Sonoma Stompers are at the forefront of something that could be groundbreaking for baseball. We know there will be detractors who will argue that women have no place on the baseball field, but it’s a door that’s now open and could even further in the coming years.
As it should, too, because there’s no reason women shouldn’t be given the same opportunity to make their mark as players, managers, executives or whatever role best suits their abilities. Kelsie Whoitmore’s hit into the field proves that case for women.