The MLB joined the NFL and NBA as major sports leagues that have now hired a female coach Tuesday when the Oakland Athletics hired Justine Siegal to serve as a guest instructor for their Instructional League club.
Siegal will work with an Oakland A’s minor league affiliate from Oct. 4 to Oct. 17, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. David Forst, assistant GM for the A’s, says Siegal will have many roles for the organization and that, “We feel like Justine has a lot to offer and that (the Instructional League) is a great place to get her feet wet.”
Forst said he expect plays in the minor league system to treat Siegal as they would any other coach and he doesn’t expect any problems. Siegel is very excited about the opportunity and is happy to wear the hat of somebody with many roles, saying, “As a rookie coach, I expect to hit a lot of fungos, throw a lot of batting practice and help out wherever they want me to help. And I do like talking about life skills; I like to help people achieve their life goals.” (RELATED: NFL To Employ First Female Coach)
Siegel got her start coaching baseball in 2009 when she was the first base coach for independent league Brockton Rox. She now joins Becky Hammon of the San Antonio Spurs and Jen Welter of the Arizona Cardinals as female coaches in major men’s sports leagues.
Siegel isn’t too worried about being accepted by male pro athletes, saying, “I’ve found from experience that men are surprised to have a woman coach, but when they realize you know what you’re talking about and that you care, you fit right in with the rest of the staff.” (RELATED: Spurs Name Becky Hammon First Female NBA Coach)
She has also said she’s a “big fan” of legendary baseball manager Billy Beane of the Oakland A’s, who’s story as manager was chronicled in the blockbuster film “Moneyball.”