Throughout their history, the Chicago Cubs have never had a female play-by-play announcer. However, that changed last weekend as broadcaster Beth Mowins became the first woman to call a Cubs game.
This revelation contributes to breaking MLB’s gender barrier and extends far beyond the Chicago Cubs as it shows young female sports fans that one day, they can be a play-by-play announcer for their favorite team too. Similar to the progress made by other women across the league, Mowins is opening the door for more women to call baseball games in the near future.
As it stands, the current list of women calling-play-by-play in baseball is small, especially when it is compared to the game’s broad history. As Mowins is added to this list, she is joining Gayle Gardner, Jenny Cavnar, and Suzyn Waldman. That’s right; this list is confined to just four women. It took until 1993 for a woman to do televised play-by-play of an MLB game as Gayle Gardner became the first woman to do so as she called a game between the Colorado Rockies and the Cincinnati Reds. Since then, only three women have followed her, but hopefully, more will follow, and more progress for women in the league is made.
Play-by-play announcer Beth Mowins made Chicago Cubs broadcast history
Mowins, 54, is no stranger to the sports industry. She is a play-by-play announcer and sports journalist for ESPN, CBS Sports, and Marquee Sports Network. Usually, she calls women’s college sports.
However, she became the second woman to call a college football game for ESPN in 2005 and began to do play-by-play for NFL games in 2017. Not only is Mowins a leader for women in the baseball industry, but in the sports media industry as a whole. As you can see, this trailblazer has an extensive resume and was more than qualified for the job.
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Following calling Sunday’s game in the booth, fans reacted on Twitter. There were many positive reactions, along with some negative comments sprinkled in there. Personally, I thought Mowins did an excellent job and fit in nicely. I will admit that Mowins was not perfect and has a lot to learn. But her debut was generally a success, and she was able to get the job done and open the door for women in the future.
As a woman who is enamored with the game of baseball, this hiring gives me a glimmer of hope looking at my future.
Until the hirings of women like Kim Ng, Rachel Folden, Rachel Balkovec, Alyssa Nakken, and others, I felt that it was highly unlikely or impossible that I would ever land my dream job working for an MLB team. Yet, every one of these hirings inspires me to work towards my ultimate goal of working in the league.
I am grateful that women are being provided with more opportunities to work in the industry and that professionals like Beth Mowins are paving the way for women and girls like myself to someday work throughout all of baseball.