STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. (PIX11) — One Staten Island baseball player is making history and proving that women don’t need a league of their own to succeed on the diamond.
Kelsie Whitmore told PIX11 News baseball is “her safe space.” The two-way player, known as the female Shohei Ohtani, said her love of the came started in childhood.
“For me, the biggest thing was just to choose at the end of the day what I wanted to do,” she said. “At the end of every day, it was baseball.”
She played softball in college — the only option available to her — while also playing baseball for the United States national team. In 2022, she took her career to new, historic heights by becoming the first woman to play in MLB-affiliated baseball.
Whitmore plays for the Staten Island FerryHawks, an Atlantic League team.
FerryHawks pitching coach and ex-MLB player Nelson Figueroa heard about Whitmore’s talent and decided he had to see it for himself. And at the end of the day, he liked what he saw.
“Everything that you look for in ballplayer was there, and it didn’t matter to me whether she was male or female.”
As she pursues her major-league dream, Whitmore said her coaches and teammates are supporting her through it all.
“With the support that I get here … it feels right. It feels like you fit in,” Whitmore said.