Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Interview: MLB's First Female Baseball Coach Justine Siegal

Just a few weeks ago headlines across the country were talking about Justine Siegal. Siegal has become Major League Baseball's first female coach, as she is a special instructor to the Oakland As. Siegal is joining elite company with other trailblazers like Becky Hammon and Nancy Lieberman in the NBA and Jen Welter in the NFL. Two of these four women are Jewish! We have interviewed Lieberman in the past and we are excited to introduce you all to Justine Siegel. Both are a part of The Great Rabbino Speaker Series and can be booked for events (TheGreatRabbino.com). Welcome to the Bigs Justine!


1) Tell TGR a little bit about yourself?
I’m a mom of a 17 year old girl. Its been quite the journey with her and we are very close. Without her support I could not have done any thing that I have been doing over her life time. …Pursing a PhD, coaching college, running a nonprofit, etc. She doesn’t even like to play baseball. But she knows my work is important because its about not letting gender boxes define you and being who you want to be.

2) When did you get into baseball?

I played T-ball and just never stopped. I had a great time until I was 13. That is when the first of many coaches told me I should quit because I am a girl.

3) What is "Baseball for All”?

Baseball for all is a national nonprofit providing opportunities for girls in baseball, including playing, coaching, umpiring, and other leadership positions.

4) What was it like to be the first female to throw batting practice?

Preparing was a a lot of hard work. I knew if I messed up it would be a long time before another woman would be given a chance. But it was really cool. Like being in a movie. I have all my MLB jerseys hanging in my closet. My daughter and I (who was 13 at the time) drove 800 miles in 5 days to throw to 4 MLB teams. I asked her what it felt like to be living the rockstar life of traveling, she responded “they stay in better hotels.” It was all pretty fun and amazing.

 Image result for justine siegal


5) What is your role with the Oakland As?

I was a guest coach at instructional league. So I was working with minor leaguers. It is unknown if I will be given any other coaching positions. But a handful of guys asked me to be there at Spring Training.

6) You used to coach at a Jewish school. What was that like?

I taught PE at the Montessori Jewish Day School in Toronto. Its a beautiful school. We celebrated all the holidays. When Jasmine was 6 her favorite movie was Ten Commandments. She watched it over and over.

7) Do you think female's will begin to gravitate more towards baseball than softball?

I think many females want to play baseball they just don’t feel its really open to them. The more they its open and welcoming, the more they will play.

8) Who is the greatest player you have ever worked with?

Steve Delebar was on the Brockton Rox with me. He went on to pitch in the MLB All-Star game.

9) What else do people need to know about Justine Siegal an Baseball for All?

I have a PHD in sport psychology. That I started what is now Baseball for All at the young age of 23. I have attached an essay I wrote for Chasing Dreams book.





Thank you to Justine for her time. I am looking forward to hearing about her success and the many girls she influences in the years to come!


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