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The Atlantic League of Professional Baseball had history made in one of its games on Sunday night.
The Major League Baseball partner organization saw Kelsie Whitmore start in left field for the Staten Island FerryHawks in a game against the Gastonia Honey Hunters. Edgardo Alonzo penciled Whitmore in to bat ninth.
Staten Island FerryHawks’ Kelsie Whitmore leads off first as a pinch-runner against the Dirty Birds on April 21, 2022, in Charleston, West Virginia. (Joseph Langan via AP)
Whitmore recorded a few flyball outs but went 0-fo-2 at the plate. She was also hit by a pitch.
“I’m grateful for all the opportunities I’ve been given. This one, by far, I’m really looking forward to, because it’s next level for me,” Whitmore said after the game.
Whitmore is a two-way player. She can play the outfield as well as pitch and has been working with former major league pitcher Nelson Figueroa on her mechanics. She has yet to pitch in a game after signing with Staten Island last month.
The 23-year-old pitched and played the field for the U.S. women’s baseball team from 2014-19 and spent some time with the Sonoma Stompers of the independent Pacific Association. The Atlantic League isn’t a big-league affiliate but is a step up from an independent league like the Pacific Association.
Kelsie Whitmore spent some time with the Sonoma Stompers of the independent Pacific Association. (Michael Macor/The San Francisco Chronicle via Getty Images)
“Playing baseball at the highest level is my goal. You know, if you ask any other guy that’s going to be in the league what his goal is, it’s the same thing, to get to the next level and play at the highest level I could possibly play at,” she said.
“Eventually, I want to play in affiliated ball. I want to make this game my career, my living, and just, you know, be a part of it as much as I can.”
Kelsie Whitmore walks back to first against the Dirty Birds on April 21, 2022, in Charleston, West Virginia. (Joseph Langan via AP)
There have yet to be any women to play in MLB. Some women took the field in the Negro Leagues, including Mamie Johnson and Toni Stone.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.