Big League Talent
Kelsie Whitmore is going places. In May, the pitcher and left fielder made her debut with the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball. She’s now the highest ranked female baseball player in decades—and many believe that her best is yet to come.
Whitmore is used to leading the way. She was the only girl on her high school varsity baseball team, and when she was 17, she and two other women signed to play for the Sonoma Stompers, a team that’s part of the Pacific Association of Professional Baseball. Their teammates and opponents were all men.
Now Whitmore, who also played on the U.S. Women’s National Team at the Pan American Games for several years, is closer than ever to Major League Baseball (MLB). Experts say the Atlantic League is one step below MLB. Many of the league’s players work on honing their skills in the hopes that a major league team will invite them to join its minor league partner team. Whitmore is no exception.
Whitmore is smaller than the men she’s trying to strike out, so she’s gotten creative when it comes to her pitching. The 24 year old has a secret weapon—a pitch that has become known as “The Thing.” She developed The Thing by changing her grip on the ball and the motion of her arm to change the way the ball moved. Such hard work, plus a whole lot of talent, has baseball experts believing that Whitmore has a bright future in the sport. Whitmore herself is aiming to get to the next level.
“Of course. That’s the big dream,” Whitmore told MLB.com. “I wouldn’t be playing this game if I didn’t have the mindset and the drive to want to hopefully, potentially, get there one day. It’s definitely going to be hard; it’s not going to be easy. But it’s definitely something that I…dream about.”