At some point, there will be a female baseball player in affiliated ball. We have already seen women make history on the diamond, from Melissa Mayeux becoming the first female eligible for the MLB international registration and signing period in 2016 to Genevieve Beacom becoming the first female to play in the Australian Baseball League. Kelsie Whitmore played for the Staten Island FerryHawks in 2022, one of the first women to appear in a league affiliated with Major League Baseball.
Another female baseball player is making history as well. Olivia Pichardo has become the first female baseball player to be on a NCAA Division 1 roster as she earned a place on the Brown University varsity team for 2023.
Brown University could be first step for Olivia Pichardo
Pichardo had generated attention for her skills on the diamond already. She was a part of several youth programs and was part of the USA Baseball Women’s National Team where she pitched and played in the outfield.
That versatility will be on display during her time at Brown. She will be a super utility player as she had tried out as a middle infielder, outfielder, and pitcher. She showed her potential on the mound this spring, reaching 82 MPH with her fastball while her breaking pitches showed promise as well. If she improves her mechanics, it is possible that there could be a few more miles per hour waiting.
Every journey needs a first step. The likes of Jackie Mitchell, the All American Girls Professional Baseball League, and the trio of female Negro League players – Toni Stone, Mamie Johnson, and Connie Morgan – helped blaze this path. Pichardo is now a trailblazer herself, showing that females can be a part of Division 1 baseball. And maybe, just maybe, she can continue that journey with a spot in affiliated ball when she is eligible for the MLB Draft.
Olivia Pichardo is making history with Brown University. She may not stop at being the first female to be a part of a Division 1 baseball team.