Rizzo was in high school in Colorado in 1993 when her accounting teacher brought a television into the classroom so they could watch the first Rockies game. Later that same year, Gayle Gardner became the first woman to broadcast a televised game between Colorado and the Cincinnati Reds.
It took almost three more decades before broadcasters would put together an all-woman crew.
“Having the first female tag is something that has come up in my career,” Newman said, “and it’s something I recognize as very important. But we also want to make sure that while we are getting all these firsts in there, that we also are not the last.”
Newman, who grew up in Georgia listening to Jim Fyffe on Auburn football radio broadcasts, called minor league baseball games on the radio for six years, and was part of the first all-female broadcast of a minor league game alongside Suzie Cool for a Salem Red Sox game in 2019. A year later, Newman became the voice of Orioles radio broadcasts.
On June 22, Newman did the play-by-play for a national game between the Texas Rangers and Oakland Athletics on YouTube, which went so well it became the genesis for the plan to form an all-woman broadcast team. According to Noah Garden, M.L.B.’s chief revenue officer, the plan is to make all-female booths a more regular feature of games, and to add diversity of backgrounds and women of color.
“That is very important, and we have diversity on this one,” he said, referring to Rizzo, who is of Cuban descent and speaks Spanish. “We have a very diverse group of players and a diverse group of fans, and we want fans to be able to relate to the people in the booth and for our people in the booth to be able to relate to the people on the field.”
The leading pioneer for women in baseball broadcasting is Suzyn Waldman, a regular analyst for the Yankees radio broadcasts since 2005. She did her first game on radio in 1992 between the Mets and the Houston Astros, and within two years she was announcing televised games.