Softball legend Jennie Finch became the first female to manage a professional baseball club on Sunday, standing in as the guest manager of the Bridgeport Bluefish of the Atlantic League.
Finch did more than take part in a pregame media scrum, fill out the lineup card, and throw the game’s ceremonial first pitch. She guided the Bluefish to a 3-1 victory, leaning on small-ball tactics along the way. Finch also gave a pregame speech:
Cynics will label Finch’s day at the helm as a publicity stunt. Maybe it was, but there’s no valid reason precluding a woman from becoming a baseball coach or manager. Becky Hammon’s success with the NBA’s Spurs should only hasten an overdue move in that direction across professional sporting leagues.
Given her impressive credentials as a player, Finch might as deserving as any candidate for a baseball job — one that doesn’t have “guest” in front of it.