Not only could there be a time when we see a woman suiting up in Major League Baseball, but that time might not be too far away.
Melissa Mayeux, a 16-year-old French girl, made baseball history Sunday when she become the first known female added to the international registration list. Mayeux plays shortstop for France’s U-18 national team and will be eligible to be signed by an MLB team July 2.
By all accounts, it’s most likely Mayeux will go unsigned, but that doesn’t mean she lacks what it takes. MLB.com’s Lindsay Berra pointed out that although anyone can be added to the registration list after verifying their date of birth and citizenship, the league generally only registers those who actually have the skills to be signed.
“She’s a legitimate shortstop who makes all the plays and is very smooth and fluid in the field,” MLB director of international game development Mike McClellan told Berra. “She swings the bat really well and is fearless.”
How fearless? McClellan recounted a story about an at-bat Mayeux had at an international tournament in April in which she knocked a single up the middle off a 19-year-old Dominican pitcher who was throwing 91 mph. Not only was the pitcher three years older than Mayeux, but that’s much harder than most kids her age can throw.
Mayeux also is one of just four players selected out of France for MLB’s European Elite Camp in August, and it’s possible she could make the cut as one of the country’s top 25 players at the 2017 World Baseball Classic.
Despite all the history she’s making, Mayeux just wants to play for as long as possible.
“Melissa just wants to have (the) most opportunity she can in baseball,” Boris Rothermundt, a coach with the French national team, told Berra. “She is not at all thinking about being the first female on the list.”
Thumbnail photo via MLB.com Video