Valley Blue Sox Announce 2019 Western Mass. Baseball Hall of Fame Induction Banquet
SPRINGFIELD — Justine Siegal, the first female coach in the history of Major League Baseball, will be the keynote speaker for the sixth annual Western Massachusetts Baseball Hall of Fame induction banquet to be held on Thursday, Jan. 31.
The ceremony, hosted by the Valley Blue Sox, will take place at 7 p.m. at La Quinta Inn and Suites, 100 Congress St., Springfield.
“The Blue Sox are excited to host another Hall of Fame induction banquet,” said Blue Sox President Fred Ciaglo, who is entering his second season as the head of the franchise. “There are so many people that do a great deal of work to help baseball prosper in Western Massachusetts. We hope that this event serves as an avenue to celebrate those individuals and their accomplishments.”
Siegal is the president and founder of Baseball for All, a nonprofit organization that empowers women to play, coach, and lead in baseball. She earned her doctorate in sport and exercise psychology from Springfield College, where she served as an assistant coach for the baseball team from 2008 to 2010. She also coached youth baseball. In 2009, Siegal became the first female coach of a professional men’s team when she worked as the first-base coach of the Brockton Rox in the independent Canadian American Assoc. of Professional Baseball.
In 2011, she became the first woman to throw batting practice to a big league team, the Cleveland Indians. She also has served as a batting-practice pitcher for the Oakland Athletics, Tampa Bay Rays, St. Louis Cardinals, Houston Astros, and New York Mets. In October 2015, Oakland invited her to serve a two-week stint as guest instructor in the instructional league in Arizona, making her the first female to coach in the major leagues.
Siegal will be inducted into the Hall of Fame as part of the class of 2019. Other members will be announced in the coming weeks. This year’s class is the sixth since the inaugural banquet in 2014. Since its inception, 35 individuals and four teams who have represented and served the baseball community of Western Mass. have been honored.
Tickets for the banquet are $50, or $450 for a table of 10. Dinner is included, and every guest will receive a pair of tickets to a 2019 Blue Sox home game. To purchase tickets, call (413) 533-1100 or visit valley-blue-sox.ticketleap.com/2019-hof.