Two female baseball players signed with the Sonoma Stompers of the Independent League on Wednesday.
The players–Kelsie Whitmore and Stacy Piagno–are set to take the field for Sonoma on Friday and become part of the first co-ed professional baseball team since the 1950s in the Negro Leagues, according to the Stompers.
“This isn’t a one-day event,” Sonoma general manager Theo Fightmaster told MLB.com. “That’s been done a dozen times. Let’s give women a chance to be part of a team, let’s give women a chance to play against men. What will they learn? What have they not been coached because they haven’t had the same coaching as boys? I remember being really disappointed with my sister’s coaches because they coached the girls a lot different than how I was coached.”
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Whitmore, 17, will start in left field on Friday against the San Rafael Pacifics, while Piagno, 25, will take the mound.
“They’re going to play however much they earn,” Fightmaster added. “They are not going to be in the starting lineup every night so we can sell more tickets. It’s a big game on July 1 and they’ll both be in the lineup, and after that we’ll see what their performance dictates.”
— Sonoma Stompers (@SonomaStompers) June 29, 2016
— WomenBaseballNetwork (@womens_baseball) June 24, 2016
Both Whitmore and Piagno will play for Team USA in the Women’s Baseball World Cup this fall.