OAKLAND -- After becoming the first woman to throw batting practice for a Major League Baseball team during Spring Training, Justine Siegal made history again Friday, when it is believed she became the first woman to throw batting practice in a Major League ballpark.
Siegal, the founder of Baseball for All, a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing meaningful instruction and opportunities in baseball, especially for girls, threw batting practice for the A's on Friday before their series opener against the White Sox. The first batter she faced was A's manager Bob Geren, who stepped in to take some cuts to help Siegal find the strike zone while she loosened up.
"The guys hit her good," Geren said. "[Josh] Willingham hit her hard -- which is good. That's a compliment. When you throw batting practice, you want everybody to hit you really hard. It's not like a game. It's the opposite in a game."
It wasn't the first time Siegal threw batting practice for the A's, as they were one of a handful of clubs the righty tossed batting practice for during Spring Training, along with the Indians and the Rays. But none of those sessions took place in a Major League park like Friday's did.
While it's the second time Siegal has broken down a baseball barrier, she has said she thinks a day will come when women will make it to the Majors -- something Geren said he wouldn't rule out.
"You have all types throwing now," Geren said. "You have lefties, righties, sidearmers, knuckleballers -- anything's possible. You have people who throw 100 [mph], and then you have people like [Tim] Wakefield throwing knuckleballs up in his 40s. We've had pitchers in previous generations pushing 50, so I wouldn't rule anything out."