Kelsie Whitmore made history when she inked a deal with the Atlantic League's Staten Island FerryHawks in April 2022. The Atlantic League of Professional Baseball (ALPB) is an official MLB Partner League based in the U.S.A. Therefore, Kelsie became the first woman to play in the independent Atlantic League, which joined forces with Major League Baseball. Kelsie is currently the Staten Island FerryHawks' pitcher and outfielder.
"Kelsie Whitmore is the latest in a line of trailblazing women paving a path and changing the game of baseball." - @MLB
Whitmore pitched for the United States women's national baseball team from 2014 to 2019, with a 1.35 earned run average. She signed with the Pacific Association's Sonoma Stompers, a collegiate summer baseball team, in 2016. Whitmore joined the West Coast League's Portland Pickles in October 2021. Whitmore was also given a scholarship to play softball for the Cal State Fullerton Titans, and she was permitted to practice with the baseball team.
"In 2016, Anna Kimbrell, Stacy Piagno and Kelsie Whitmore debuted for the Sonoma Stompers, becoming the first women to play for a professional men’s team since the 1950s." - @National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum
Kelsie received a special letter of appreciation from MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred for being the first woman to play in the Atlantic League.
Rob Manfred penned a heart-felt letter. It read: "I have followed your playing career with great enthusiasm, and very much appreciate your significant contributions to the USA Women’s National baseball team. You are an inspiration to baseball fans everywhere, and especially to girls who dream of playing professional baseball.”
Kelsie Whitmore's performance in her first Atlantic League game
Kelsie made her Atlantic League debut on May 1, 2022, in a game between the FerryHawks and the Lexington Legends. She played two positions -- outfielder and pitcher. She made an immediate impression by striking out Ryan Jackson, a former Major League Baseball player for the St. Louis Cardinals and Los Angeles Angels. It helped the FerryHawks to escape the bases-loaded jam in the ninth inning.
Kelsie said, "I want to make this game my career, my living, and just, you know, be a part of it as much as I can.''
"The first of many outings for Kelsie Whitmore!" - @ SI FerryHawks
Some girls prefer baseball over softball, but they don't want to participate in a predominantly male atmosphere. In the last few years, more girls have been encouraged to take up baseball in college, and the push is picking some steam. With her debut in the Atlantic League, Kelsie sets an example for every little girl who aspires to play professional baseball.