This French 16-Year-Old Girl Is Challenging Baseball's Boys' Club

July 20th 2015

Ashley Nicole Black

French teenager Melissa Mayeux could be the first woman to play Major League Baseball.

How cool is that sentence?

The 16-year-old plays shortstop for the French national under 18 team. She also plays for the French seniors softball team and is the first woman to ever be added to the MLB International Registration List, which means she is now eligible to be signed by a major league team. Mayeux is still at least two years away from that, after all she's only 16 and still playing youth baseball. She is one of only four French players chosen to participate in the MLB's European Elite Camp, and has already been watched by MLB recruiters for two years, so she's definitely a contender. 

Although it's unlikely that she will play on an MLB team any time soon considering her age, her inclusion on the list is still a historic first step and a sign that women are now taken more seriously as professional baseball players. This could encourage other female youth baseball players not to give up or "age out" of co-ed ball. While young girls play baseball on co-ed teams, as they get older they are encouraged to move over to softball teams. The fact that women are now finding a path towards staying in the sport as an adult and playing baseball on the college level and professionally is a big deal. There is no official rule barring women from playing Major League Baseball. 

If you have a baseball playing daughter or niece you are sharing this historic news with, I don't suggest you allow her to read the comments. They are full of the exact sexist comments I'm sure you would expect. But they reminded me of some of the comments that were made about Jackie Robinson. Words like, "how are they going to share a locker room?" "How is she going to handle all the scrutiny?" "She'll never play as good as a man she's isn't smart enough or strong enough!" But as we learned from Robinson, it only takes one great player to turn all that negative talk around and open the door to other great players. Even if Mayeux doesn't play major league ball, she has already taken a historic move. We will probably see other women following her lead soon, ahem, Mo'ne Davis

But seriously, how cool would it be to see those two ladies on a team?