Minor League Baseball female umpire

Minor League Baseball is getting more inclusive this year.

The Gulf Coast League announced umpire Jen Pawol has been hired for the 2016 season. She becomes the first female umpire in Minor League Baseball since 2007, and will be the seventh woman to umpire a MiLB game. The last time a female umpired a game in the GCL was Pam Postema in 1977-78.

Pawol, a former softball player at Hofstra University, began umpiring in 2006. She earned a spot in the GCL after attending the 2016 Minor League Baseball Umpire Training Academy, where she was selected to participate in the advanced course.

She said in a press release she’s honored to start her umpiring career in the MiLB.

“Beginning my career as a professional baseball umpire this week is a privilege that goes beyond words,” said Pawol. “I went to the Major League Baseball Umpire Camps and the Minor League Baseball Umpire Training Academy with an open mind, a strong work ethic and a passion for umpiring, and I’m honored to be starting this exciting journey in the Gulf Coast League.”

It’s a great step for MiLB to take, hopefully, it’s the start of a trend which allows more female umpires to get opportunities at the minor league level.

MLB has never had a female umpire in a regular season game, so here’s to hoping Pawol (or really, any female for that matter) can get a call-up to the big leagues when she shows she can excel in the minors. The NBA and the NFL have both slowly started to introduce female officials, so MLB should do the same. It’s about time this has happened, but it’s probably going to be awhile before Major League Baseball has a female umpire because of the lack of attrition in the umpiring ranks at the level.

[Image via MiLB]

About Liam McGuire

Social +Staff writer for The Comeback & Awful Announcing. Liammcguirejournalism@gmail.com