If you are at all tuned in to baseball media, you most likely have heard the name Genevieve Beacom mentioned within the last few days. If you have not, consider this your introduction. Beacom made history this past week, becoming the first woman to pitch in the premier Australian professional baseball league, the ABL. Not only did she become the first woman to pitch professionally in that league, but she did so at just 17-years-old.
To pitch in the ABL at such an early age could be the first stepping stone to bigger things for Beacom, as the league has proven more than capable in the past decade of producing MLB talent. As of right now, the ABL website lists 41 players who have made appearances in the show since 2010, with some notable names. Players like Ronald Acuña Jr., Kevin Kiermaier, and Liam Hendriks have all had brief stints in Australia, and who is to say Beacom will not join the list of players in a few years’ time.
Beacom’s appearance last Friday came in the sixth inning, and it went about as well as she could have hoped. The lefty tossed a scoreless frame, allowing no hits or earned runs while walking one batter. She did so with a two-pitch mix, including a fastball that sits 80-84 MPH while also mixing in a curveball.
Beacom also has a changeup in her arsenal, but it did not make an appearance in her lone inning.
Throwing in the low-to-mid 80-MPH range compares favorably with her age group, whether they be male or female, and could be enough to land Beacom a spot on a college roster come 2023. According to Josh Spence, a former pitcher for the Padres in 2011-12 and now a current pitching coach for the Adelaide Giants Beacom is hunting for college opportunities within the United States and has the talent to do so.
What Beacom’s Debut Means:
Beacom’s debut is a milestone in its own right, but it is also symbolic of the future of women in baseball. The only thing stopping this story from being more common is the lack of girls that pick baseball as their sport of choice. If players like Genevieve Beacom, Julie Croteau, and Ila Borders can make professional appearances, the next generation of girls in baseball can do so, especially if there is an added investment in the sport. The revolution of women in baseball is on the cusp, and GM Kim Ng and new Yankees farm system manager Rachel Balkovec solidify that claim. Sports are a unifier, drawing the masses together regardless of class, gender, race, or sexuality, and the athletes we spend time watching, writing about, and wearing the jerseys of are bound to reflect that.
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