Major League Baseball is getting on board with the NBA and NFL.
The Oakland Athletics hired Justin Siegal on Tuesday as a guest instructor for their Instructional League team, making her the first woman to coach in the MLB. Siegal already was the first woman to coach men’s baseball professionally when she signed on as the first base coach of the independent league Brockton Rox in 2009.
?It?s a dream come true,? Siegal told the San Francisco Chronicle’s Susan Slusser on Tuesday. ?The A?s are a first-class organization and it will be an honor to wear their uniform.?
Siegal will coach A’s minor leaguers from Oct. 4 through Oct. 17. She’ll work with infielders, throw batting practice and run fielding drills. Siegal also has a Ph.D. in sport and exercise psychology and will lead classroom presentations on the mental side of baseball.
?We feel like Justine has a lot to offer and that (the Instructional League) is a great place to get her feet wet,? A?s assistant general manager David Forst told Slusser. ?She?ll be doing a little bit of everything.?
For now the position is temporary, but Forst said they couldn’t rule anything out for the future. Oakland doesn’t yet have it’s minor-league coaching assignments set, so the club doesn’t know if there will be any openings.
?I think it would be incredible to coach full-time,? Siegal said. ?But for now, I?ll do my best every day to help out any way I can, from carrying water to throwing BP to using my Ph.D.?
As for how the players will react, Forst said they’re obviously expected to treat Siegal as they would any coach. And Siegal isn’t too worried about that, either.
?I?ve found from experience that men are surprised to have a woman coach, but when they realize you know what you?re talking about and that you care, you fit right in with the rest of the staff,? Siegal said.
Thumbnail photo via Twitter/@mercnews