FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
ESPN Baseball Analyst Jessica Mendoza Selected to Receive the 2016 Guiding Woman in Sport Award at National Educators Conference
RESTON, VA, February 9, 2016 — Olympic softball star Jessica Mendoza, recently named as the first female voice of ESPN's "Sunday Night Baseball" coverage, has been selected to receive the 2016 Guiding Woman in Sport Award by SHAPE America – Society of Health and Physical Educators. The presentation will be made on Friday, April 8, at the organization's annual Guiding Woman in Sport luncheon, which is one of the highlights of the organization's week-long National Convention & Expo in Minneapolis. Established in 1987, the award is given in recognition of extraordinary service, leadership, and commitment to girls and women in sport.
A courageous and tireless advocate, Mendoza epitomizes the central tenets of the Guiding Woman in Sport Award. SHAPE America is proud to add her name to the long list of distinguished recipients which include: Julie Foudy, Nancy Hogshead, Billie Jean King, Diana Nyad, Robin Roberts and C. Vivian Stringer. Prior to the luncheon, Dr. Darlene Kluka, dean of the School of Human Performance and Leisure Sciences at Barry University, will deliver the annual Rachel Bryant Lecture.
"SHAPE America is thrilled to honor Jessica for her lifelong commitment to access and equality in athletics," says SHAPE America President Stephen C. Jefferies of Central Washington University. "Jessica advocated for girls and women in sport as the president of the Women's Sports Foundation and is continuing to open doors for females now as a pioneer in sports broadcasting."
On June 16, 2015, Mendoza became the first female to sit in the booth as part of ESPN's College World Series coverage. Two months later on August 24, she became the first woman to work as an analyst for ESPN's MLB coverage on the network's Cardinals-Diamondbacks broadcast. That same week, she was in the booth when Jake Arrieta of the Cubs pitched a no-hitter against the Dodgers during her "Sunday Night Baseball" debut.
Everything culminated on October 6 when Jessica was in the booth for the 2015 American League Wild Card Game, becoming the first female analyst in Major League Baseball postseason history.
Before she was making history covering baseball, Mendoza was having a similar impact on the softball diamond.
After an incredible career at Stanford University where she was a four-time First-Team All-American Outfielder and led the Cardinals to their first-ever Women's College World Series Appearance (she still holds five Stanford school records, including batting average and career home runs), Mendoza became a member of the U.S. Women's National Team. From 2001-10, she won both an Olympic Gold (Athens, 2004) and Silver (Beijing, 2008) medal, in addition to being a three-time World Champion (2002, 2006, 2010) and World Cup Champion (2006, 2007, 2010). In 2006, she was named the USA Softball Athlete of the Year and was also recognized in 2008 with the prestigious honor of being named Women's Sports Foundation Sportswoman of the Year.
As her playing career started to wind down, her next challenge led her to ESPN. She started in 2007 as the lead softball analyst (a job she still holds), but she's added a sideline reporter role on college football and an analyst/reporter position on the College World Series.
Her role then expanded to ESPN's Major League Baseball coverage. In addition to her role as a game analyst, she makes regular appearances on "Baseball Tonight" and "Sports Center" as a studio analyst.
Mendoza is also an online contributor for espnW.com and serves on the advisory board for the website. Her plaudits did not stop with her softball career; she became the president of the Women's Sports Foundation in 2009 and in 2012 she was inducted into the Stanford University Hall of Fame. In 2006, Jessica was inducted in the Latin Sports Hall of Fame.
More than 5,000 health and physical education teachers, researchers and other physical activity professionals are expected to attend the convention, which is the nation's largest event of its kind in the country. The convention, which will take place April 5-9, is held in partnership with SHAPE America Central District and Minnesota SHAPE.
For more information about SHAPE America's National Convention & Expo, visit the website and follow #SHAPEMinneapolis.
SHAPE America - Society of Health and Physical Educators is committed to ensuring all children have the opportunity to lead healthy, physically active lives. As the nation's largest membership organization of health and physical education professionals, SHAPE America works with its 50 state affiliates and national partners to support initiatives such as the Presidential Youth Fitness Program, Let's Move! Active Schools and the Jump Rope For Heart/Hoops For Heart programs.
Since its founding in 1885, the organization has defined excellence in physical education, and our resources provide the leadership, professional development and advocacy that support health and physical educators at every level - from preschool to university graduate programs. For more information, visit www.shapeamerica.org.