MLB’s New York Mets hire former softball star Jessica Mendoza

MLB’s New York Mets hire former softball star Jessica Mendoza

The former Olympic gold medallist became the first ESPN baseball female broadcaster during the 2015 College World Series, then joined the Sunday Night Baseball broadcasting team. She will now advise an MLB team

The Major League Baseball (MLB) New York Mets hired former softball star and current ESPN Sunday Night Baseball analyst, Jessica Mendoza. She will provide insight to Executive Vice President and General Manager Brodie Van Wagenen and the entire Baseball Operations Department. Her focus will be in the areas of player evaluation, roster construction, technological advancement and health and performance.

“Jessica is incredibly well respected throughout the industry and we are excited to bring her into the organization,” Van Wagenen said. “She is a world-class athlete and experienced television analyst with an extremely high baseball IQ. We are confident that she will help us in our efforts to win now and in the future.”
Van Wagenen added on a final note: “This hire demonstrates the continued support from ownership to invest in the intellectual capital of the New York Mets.”

Many press columns in the United States are raising concerns about the issue of people, like Mendoza and former superstar Alex Rodriguez (an adviser with the Yankees), “taking paychecks from two organizations with different priorities”.
ESPN analysts most certainly acquire information about teams that never makes it on air.

An ESPN spokesman told the Associated Press that there are “numerous examples across networks of these type of arrangements where commentators work closely with a team. We will be fully transparent about Jessica’s relationship with the Mets.”

Jessica Ofelia Mendoza was born in 1980 in Camarillo, California. A four-time All American outfielder for Stanford University (1999-2002), she was a member of the United States Women’s Softball National Team from 2004 to 2010. She contributed to an Olympic gold medal in 2004 in Athens, Greece, and a silver medal in 2008 in Beijing, China. She was on three USA National Teams that claimed WBSC World Title: 2002 in Saskatoon, Canada, 2006 in Beijing and 2010 in Caracas, Venezuela. She also played in the National Pro Fastpitch league (Arizona Heat and USSSA Pride) in 2005 and, after maternity leave and a stint with USA Softball, in 2010, 2011 and 2012.
On 30 June 2014 Mendoza began working on ESPN’s Baseball Tonight. On 16 June 2015, she became the first ESPN female broadcaster for the College World Series. On 13 January 2016 ESPN announced that Mendoza would join Sunday Night Baseball broadcast team.

Jessica Mendoza is co-chair of the Women’s Sports Foundation Athlete Advisory Panel


Jessica Mendoza at bat in Beijing

Jessica Mendoza at bat during USA-Chinese Taipei of the 2008 Olympics