Originally Published: Sports Illustrated
Sports Illustrated Wire Services
The Pacific Association’s Sonoma Stompers are adding two female players to their roster.
The independent league club announced Wednesday that it has signed Kelsie Whitmore, 17, and Stacy Piagno, 25. Both will start Friday’s game against the San Rafael Pacifics, Whitmore in left field and Piagno on the mound.
“This isn't a one-day event,” Stompers general manager Theo Fightmaster told MLB.com. “That's been done a dozen times. Let's give women a chance to be part of a team, let's give women a chance to play against men. What will they learn? What have they not been coached because they haven't had the same coaching as boys? I remember being really disappointed with my sister's coaches because they coached the girls a lot different than how I was coached.”
“Both of these girls are on the roster,” Fightmaster said. “They're gonna play however much they earn. They are not gonna be in the starting lineup every night so we can sell more tickets. It's a big game on July 1 and they'll both be in the lineup and after that we'll see what their performance dictates.”
The Stompers also notably hosted an LGBTQ pride night last season and started openly gay pitcher Sean Conroy on the mound. They allowed baseball writers Ben Lindbergh and Sam Miller to work in baseball operations in 2015 as well, which they detailed in the recently-published book The Only Rule is it has to Work.