Sonoma Stompers Sign Two Female Players

The Sonoma Stompers of the Pacific Association never shy away from doing something different when it comes to baseball.

They were the first professional team to have an openly gay player, pitcher Sean Conroy. Usually a relief pitcher, Conroy ended up being the starting pitcher on the team’s pride night last year. He pitched a complete game shutout that night while his teammates wore rainbow colored socks and armbands showing their support.

Last year, the Stompers also allowed two statistically driven baseball writers to work as part of their baseball operations department.

This year, they are making history by signing two female players for the month of July. The team has announced that they have signed Kelsie Whitmore, 17, and Stacy Piagno, 25.

womenbaseballnetwork

Both players are scheduled to start in Friday’s game (July 1st) against the San Rafael Pacifics with Whitmore playing in left field and Piagno on the mound.

Whitmore played varsity baseball in high school and has a softball scholarship to Cal-State Fullerton. Piagno has played on the U.S. Women’s National Team and played college softball.

The team’s GM, Theo Fightmaster, told MLB.com that this isn’t just a publicity stunt for his team.

“This isn’t a one-day event. 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.”

Fightmaster wants to raise awareness for female baseball players and  also hopes that this is only the beginning for American women in baseball. Even though some countries such as Japan already have strong women baseball teams, America has been far behind in that respect.

“There’s not enough places or ways for women to play baseball in this country,” Fightmaster says. “Women get funneled into softball — if they want to play baseball, they end up playing softball.”

There’s no predicting how the women will do, but after their first start, they will be fighting for playing time like the rest of the players.

“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.”

We will continue to follow how the women do in their month with the Stompers;  However after July, Whitmore will be leaving to go begin her college career while Piagno will be starting a career in teaching.

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21 thoughts on “Sonoma Stompers Sign Two Female Players”

    1. The whole point that the Stompers GM was making about the whole thing is that it’s not a one time thing. Both of the women will be on the team for the entire month. That’s a first for them.

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  1. Yoshida was with the team for the whole season — actually two of them. I think it is great what the Stompers are doing — but give credit to Mr. Young for starting it. (We miss the Hawai’ian teams!)

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    1. Honestly… I had no idea. The articles even the one from MLB says that it’s the first time since women were on a Negro League team. I had assumed MLB would know when they posted that information.

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  2. Just google Eri_Yoshida — and look at the wiki entry — she pitched for teams in the Golden Baseball League as well as the North American League — and then the Pacific Association. (Actually – that is the same league as it progressed to where it is today) — She is bad in Japan – where I am hoping to see her pitch later this year.

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  3. I disagree — isn’t it noteworthy for a woman to play baseball professional regardless of her race? How do we know the citizenship of the women? Please – lets give credit where it is due. (BTW- did you like the Green Tea KitKat bars?) 😎

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    1. Japan has strong women baseball teams already. The point their GM is trying to make is that we want that to happen here in America… so having American women being able to do it is very important. But yes, it’s noteworthy for any woman to play pro ball. You might want to point it out to the people who wrote the MLB article (that I linked in my post) as well since theirs says: “Now they’ll be the first professional team to have women on the field since Toni Stone, Mamie “Peanut” Johnson and Constance Morgan played in the Negro Leagues back in the 1950s.”
      (And yes! They’re pretty good… but I’ve fallen in love with all the different flavors of hi-chews!! haha)

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      1. The KitKat bars are special — I am trying to get my World Market to start bringing more flavors over (Japan has 125 rotating flavors to include pumpkin and of course green tea.)

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  4. I tried to post it but since I do not have facebook…. One place that has the various rotating flavors is a store on Waikiki – that is completely Japanese ran and owned — by the way – I am going to a game in Koshin Stadium with the guy who sent you the KitKat bars in September. He should be getting his ticket soon. (You should come to Japan with us and see Japanese
    baseball)

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  5. OK – what it should have said is that this is the first time that a professional team had two women on the field at the same time since the 1950s (the Negro Leagues) — I am assuming that they do not consider the Coors Light Team managed by Phil Niekro as a professional team)

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      1. I don’t know – I am just trying to figure out how they can make this statement. Between the Silver Bullets and the Maui Stingrays– not sure how they can.

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  6. sorry – me again. That isn’t even correct. Two women played on the Maui Stingrays in the Hawaiian Winter League in 1994. One of them also played for the Colorado Silver Bullets. One was an OF and the other a pitcher,

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  7. Question: How can the 17 year old outfielder accept money for playing baseball and continue receiving a scholarship? Does the NCAA go along with this, or would she have to be paid in softball to affect her eligibility?

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  8. A few years ago they changed their rules — but in order for this to count – they would have to consider softball a different sport then baseball– there have been a number of kids going to school and playing football then playing baseball professionally.

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