The Sonoma Stompers just made history by signing two women to their squad, making it just the third time since the 1950’s that a professional baseball team will carry women on its roster.
The independent league team from the Pacific Association inked Kelsie Whitmore, a 17-year-old outfielder, and Stacy Piagno, a 25-year-old pitcher.
This is no publicity stunt, either. The team plans to start both players on Friday night against the San Rafael Pacifics.
“Let’s give women a chance to be part of a team, let’s give women a chance to play against men. What will they learn? What have they not been coached because they haven’t had the same coaching as boys? I remember being really disappointed with my sister’s coaches because they coached the girls a lot different than how I was coached.” – Stompers’ GM Theo Fightmaster (MLB.com)
He also told the press that the newly signed players will get as much playing time as they earn.
It’s official! @KelsieWhitmore is a member of the Stompers! A historic day for baseball. pic.twitter.com/HdZAO9KfQg
— Sonoma Stompers (@SonomaStompers) June 29, 2016
Whitmore will be attending Cal State Fullerton on a softball scholarship next fall. Piagno was part of the U.S. women’s national baseball team that won gold last year at the Pan American Games.
Both ladies are on the Team USA roster for the Women’s Baseball World Cup in South Korea in September.