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A First-Hand Look at MLB’s Trailblazer Series

This is a guest post from Jen Mac Ramos, assistant general manager of the Sonoma Stompers. You can find Jen on Twitter.

The MLB Urban Youth Academy in Compton, California, is tucked away in a small corner of the Compton campus of El Camino Community College. Early on a Friday, the field is being prepared for a day-and-a-half’s worth of baseball games and instruction. As the buses roll up to the field, out pour about 100 young girls under the age of 16 and their coaches, many of whom are members of Team USA’s women’s national baseball team. Their excitement mounts as they view for the first time their home for the next two days, where their love for the game will be on full display

This is the Trailblazer Series, the first-of-its-kind girls baseball tournament in the United States, showcasing young female ballplayers from the States, D.C., and Canada. Featuring guest speakers such as Kim Ng, the senior vice president of baseball operations for Major League Baseball and the highest ranking Asian-American woman baseball executive, the tournament is meant to inspire young girls to pursue their dreams of playing baseball and give them the confidence to achieve other goals.

I drove down from Northern California’s Wine Country as the Sonoma Stompers’ representative at the tournament. The Stompers have made waves before, having added the first professional openly gay baseball player, Sean Conroy, to its roster in 2015 and three women — Anna Kimbrell, Stacy Piagno, and Kelsie Whitmore — to the team in 2016. (Kimbrell and Piagno, the latter of whom will be returning to the Stompers in 2017, also served as coaches at the Trailblazer Series.)

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