The Oakland A’s hired Brewster Academy alumna Justine Siegal as “a guest instructor for the club’s 2015 instructional league. Siegal will work with players Oct. 4-17 at the Lew Wolff Training Complex in Mesa, Ariz.”(MLB) Siegal’s hiring makes her the first female major league coach.
A’s assistant general manager David Forst told MLB, “We’re thrilled that Justine will be joining us for instructional league…She brings with her a wealth of knowledge and expertise from years of playing, coaching, and teaching the game, and all of our young players stand to benefit greatly from her time in camp.”
Siegal is no baseball flash in the pan. She’s been a passionate player, fan, promoter and ambassador of the game for years.
In a 2011, after Siegal became the first woman to throw major league batting practice, I wrote:
“…Throwing BP isn’t what she does though. She loves baseball. As executive director of Baseball for All, she serves as the de facto ambassador, voice for, women in, and advocate for girls who want to play the game.
For years, she’s been powerhouse traveling, playing, and promoting women’s baseball. She sees baseball as singular door able to open a girl’s mind to a multitude of possibilities.”
Siegel has prepared for this opportunity having earned a Ph.D. in sport and exercise psychology from Springfield College, and an M.A. from Kent State University in sport studies. And, Siegel is no stranger to coaching. In 2009, the Brockton Rox made her the first woman to be hired as a coach by any men’s professional team; she also was a baseball assistant coach at Springfield College from 2008-10.
“There’s field time and classroom time…That’s a normal part of the routine. Throwing batting practice, hitting fungos, a little bit of a classroom time. … I’ll do whatever they need,” Siegal told MLB.
It sounds like she’s a teacher.