Former Oakland A's Coach Justine Siegal Named 'Female Groundbreaker' for Trailblazing Coaching Efforts - NBC Bay Area

Former Oakland A's Coach Justine Siegal Named 'Female Groundbreaker' for Trailblazing Coaching Efforts

Though her stint as a coach was brief, it made history.

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    Former Oakland A's Coach Justine Siegal Named 'Female Groundbreaker' for Trailblazing Coaching Efforts

    Oakland A’s coaching staff member Justine Siegal was on Monday named “Female Groundbreaker” by the Steve Harvey show. Siegal received the honor — one of many she has recently been given — due to her trailblazing professional career as the first woman to coach for a Major League Baseball team.

    Though Siegal’s stint as a guest coach for the 2015 Instructional League was only for a two-week period in October, it cemented her place in sports history and is often credited with opening the door for other women in a notoriously male-dominated industry.

    During the show, Harvey was quick to list off a slew of achievements that Siegal has been able to accomplish. But, as she told the comedian, she had to hurtle many obstacles to get where she is today.

    “It’s been a really hard road. I’ve been told ‘no’ so many times,” Siegal said. “…When I was 13, that was the first time I had heard from a coach ‘you’re a girl. We don’t want you on the team. You should play softball.’ And I just decided I would never quit.”

    In 2002, Siegal was credited with forming the Sparks, the first all-girl team that when on to compete in a national baseball tournament. In 2011, she became the first woman to throw batting practice for a major league team.

    “When I was 16, and I wanted to become a coach, I told another coach and he laughed at me," Siegal recounted on Monday's show.  “He said a man will never listen to a woman on a baseball field. And I’m proof: A man will listen to you when you know what you’re talking about.”

    Siegal, who has advocated for gender equity in sports, holds a M.A in sport studies from Kent State University in Ohio and a Ph.D in sport and exercise psychology from Springfield College in Massachusetts.

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