Women in sports media over the years have evolved in the industry. It wasn’t that long ago certain opportunities wouldn’t be available to someone who identified as female.
But here we are. This article alone was written by a woman and attached to it are two women in the baseball world holding job titles.
We have a long way to go, but as Baltimore Orioles play-by-play broadcaster Melanie Newman says, there is something special about being who we are in the roles we were given.
“We have access the people will never, ever have, period.” Newman said on the latest episode of ‘Short and to the Point.’ “I don’t care how nice of a guy you are, it’s just a biological understanding between the two that we have the ability to emote on a different level and I think that’s a very special thing to realize and to take advantage of and to hone.”
In addition to her duties with the Orioles, Newman holds similar responsibilities with ESPN, MLB Network and the BBC. While the assignments might change over the course of the season, the common ground is the relationships she’s built.
“I’ve had players come up to me in the past that have said, you know at some point, I know you’re going to want to talk about my swing adjustment or my numbers and stuff like that, but it’s also nice knowing that the first thing — and this was something that was [Robinson] Chirinos would remind me a lot of last year was, you start with ‘Good morning,’ or ‘Good afternoon,’ and you ask how their family is doing or you ask how they’re doing — you give them a human piece for a moment because they’re not numerical transactions that they would appear to be on paper.”
It was Newman’s way of offering advice to those curious about the industry.
In that same breath, it goes without saying no matter what we do as women in this profession, we will not have the same MLB-playing resume as those we share a broadcast with.
Just about every sports broadcast has a former player joining them to offer analysis. At this moment, there has yet to be a self-identified woman who has played in Major League Baseball.
We have to come at it at a different way. That begins with our relationships with those who have spent their lives working in this sport and how we learn from them.
Numbers are important, sure. Especially in baseball. They’re attached to a number. And not just the one they sport on the back of their uniform.
The human element is imperative, too. It’s something Newman has been implementing in her career since its infancy.
“I’ve always been the human side of things,” Newman said. “I think that started when I was in high school — ironically enough I get that from my dad. Just being wired in a heart-first, I think everyone’s one or the other. You’re either logically wired, or you’re emotionally wired and that was it for me.”
Short and to the Point with Jessica Kleinschmidt is available wherever you get your podcasts.