Kelsie Whitmore will make history Sunday. Whitmore will start in left field and bat ninth for the expansion Staten Island FerryHawks of the independent Atlantic League, the team announced. She will be the first woman ever to start an Atlantic League game.
"I'm very grateful and excited for this opportunity to sign with the FerryHawks," Whitmore said after signing with the team last month. "The culture and competitiveness of this ballclub just feels right to be a part of. I've been working for an opportunity like this my whole life, and I'm ready to get after it and compete."
Whitmore, 24, became the first woman to play in a league associated with Major League Baseball last month, when she entered Staten Island's inaugural game as a pinch-runner. She previously played for the Sonoma Stompers of the independent Pacific League in 2016 and 2017, going 2 for 26 at the plate. Whitmore also pitched three innings.
"It's a great feeling," Whitmore told Rick Farlow of the Charleston Gazette-Mail after making her debut last month. "Any time on a ball field, it's the best feeling ever, and being surrounded by guys that have played at very high levels -- major league level, minor league level -- it's great to be surrounded by them, be a part of them."
Prior to playing pro ball Whitmore was a star softball player at Cal State Fullerton. She's been a member of the U.S. women's national team since 2014 and won gold in the 2015 Pan-Am Games.