The Boston Globe yesterday had a lovely story about 18-year-old Olivia Pichardo, who this week became "the first woman to make an NCAA Division 1 baseball roster. Pichardo, a freshman at Brown, received the news from her head coach, Grant Achilles, in front of her new teammates, who cheered the announcement."
According to the story, "There were no guarantees that Pichardo, who came in as a pitcher but will serve primarily as an outfielder for the Bears, would make the team. Achilles knew who she was before she touched down on campus. Through the school’s standard application process, Pichardo informed Achilles that she wanted to try out.
So he gave the 5-foot-7-inch lefthanded hitter, who throws righthanded, the fall to show what she could do, giving her a chance to walk on."
Pichardo came to organized baseball courtesy of her father, who grew up playing baseball on the streets of the Dominican Republic. It was his goal that his daughter would have the opportunity to play organized baseball - not softball, but baseball - and he started the process when she was five years old.
As for Achilles, her new coach, he tells the Globe, “Olivia, having to be honest with you, the only reason why we wouldn’t have kept her was because of the unknown. Because of adding a girl. Because talent-wise, if she wasn’t a female, then it would have been really easy. I think she made it a really difficult decision in some respects, but in other respects, it couldn’t have been easier to add her.”
- KC's View:
I know this has nothing to do with work … but I Ioved the story, and hope that Olivia Pichardo serves as a role model for girls and young women both in and out of baseball. In fact, she sounds like she'd be a pretty good role model for boys and young men, too.