Justine Siegal has been all about breaking down barriers, and on Monday, it was only natural for her to break one of the biggest barriers of all.
Siegal became the first one woman ever to throw live batting practice to Major League hitters when she threw for the Cleveland Indians earlier on Monday.
Siegal became the first woman ever to coach on a professional baseball team when she was named the first base coach of the Independent League Brockton Rox in 2009.
A Cleveland native, Siegal was able to fulfill her dream with the help of Indians general manager Chris Antonetti, whom she approached with the idea at baseball’s winter meetings last December.
Siegal threw to Paul Phillips, Lou Marson and Juan Apodaca, and a few minor league players as well.
To bulk up her arm for the challenge, Siegal enlisted the help of personal trainer Mike Zolkiewicz, a former Atlanta Braves intern, and she is also slated to throw batting practice again for the Oakland Athletics this coming Wednesday.
Siegal has been involved in baseball for many years, and was the only female in the country to coach at the men’s college baseball, serving as an assistant coach for Springfield College from 2007-10.
Siegal told the Associated Press that “I want to show that baseball is a game for all and that both boys and girls love this game. My throwing BP is proof that dreams really can come true.”
When Siegal threw batting practice for the Indians, she wore a memorial patch on her uniform for 9-year-old Christina Taylor Green, the young girl killed during the Tucson shooting tragedy in January that left six dead and 13 injured. Green was the granddaughter of former Major League manager Dallas Green, and her father, John Green, is currently a scout for the Los Angeles Dodgers.
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