Jessica Mendoza broke a few barriers in 2015 when she became the first woman to call national MLB games. Now, after three full seasons in the Sunday Night Baseball booth, Mendoza has agreed to an extension with ESPN, the network announced, where she will continue in her analyst role on Sunday Night Baseball while also making studio appearances on other shows.
As part of the new deal, Mendoza will continue to contribute analysis to ESPN’s signature MLB platform – Sunday Night Baseball – alongside Alex Rodriguez, Matt Vasgersian and Buster Olney. Additionally, Mendoza will appear on ESPN’s MLB studio show Baseball Tonight, plus appear more regularly on SportsCenter and Get Up!.
Mendoza started in her role on Sunday Night Baseball in the wake of Curt Schilling’s final meltdown, and was the only holdover after 2017 when Dan Shulman stepped down and Aaron Boone accepted the Yankees’ managerial position. 2018 saw Mendoza working alongside Matt Vasgersian and Alex Rodriguez, a three-person booth that experienced some growing pains throughout the year, but will apparently remain intact for at least one more season.
Mendoza will also continue in her role as lead analyst for the NCAA Women’s World Series, which makes obvious sense given her softball background. She sounds pretty pumped to get back to work, inasmuch as excitement can be translated into a press release statement:
“I’m beyond excited to continue to work as a baseball and softball analyst at ESPN. The support I’ve received at ESPN is incredible. I look forward to continuing to help grow the sports of softball and Major League Baseball through our second-to-none coverage by utilizing cool technology, offering exciting insights, and doing it all with passion.”
Whether or not the current three-person setup is the right long-term call for ESPN is certainly up for debate. But Mendoza stepped up at a crucial time, worked through some major adjustments around her, and will continue to be a key voice in one of the most important booths in the sport.