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The Astros beat the Yankees last night in a one-game matchup to advance in the Major League Baseball playoffs. But that's not what has people talking today.

The big story? ESPN's Jessica Mendoza became the first female analyst to call a nationally broadcast post-season game in MLB history.


Image from ESPN used with permission

And, wow, did a lot of people have a lot of things to say about it.

But before we get to that, it's worth taking a look at how Mendoza ended up making history last night on baseball's biggest stage.

Mendoza is a former pro softball player who helped guide the U.S. women's national team to a gold medal in Athens and a silver medal in Beijing. She's also the holder of a ton of records at Stanford, where she played for four seasons and was an All-American all four years.

But it wasn't her impressive softball career that got her on national television last night.

Mendoza celebrates after a home run in Beijing. Photo by Guang Niu/Getty Images.

She's been slowly climbing the ranks at ESPN for years. First, helping cover the women's College World Series. Then, the men's (she was the first woman to do that, too). In 2014, she began working the big leagues, as an analyst on ESPN's "Baseball Tonight."

And earlier this year, she made history as the first female ESPN analyst inside the booth, filling in for a suspended Curt Schilling during a Cubs-Dodgers game.

Then, with the postseason upon us and millions of people watching, ESPN turned to Mendoza again.

Here's what we learned from her history-making appearance, as told by some of the most insightful reactions to this powerful moment.

1. This was a huge moment. Another massive barrier broken down.


2. How big was it? The scorecard she used to keep stats during the game is going to the MLB Hall of Fame.

3. Some wondered, though, why Jessica? For PR? For equality? Nope. She's just a good analyst.

Don't file this away as a PR stunt by ESPN. Jessica's the real deal.


4. Take it from veteran NFL reporter John McClain, who put it best.


5. Unfortunately, there was some intense backlash to this great milestone, which is just horribly sad.

You know in "A League of Their Own" when Tom Hanks says, "There's no crying in baseball?" Tell that to all the angry dudes (and one very angry Atlanta shock jock) on Twitter wondering who this Jessica Mendoza woman was and why she was ruining the broadcast.


6. But Julie Dicaro, a sports journalist from Chicago, says if you haven't heard of Jessica Mendoza, that's your problem, not ESPN's.

The facts are, she didn't come out of nowhere, and she earned this opportunity by consistently doing good work. Just because you haven't heard of her doesn't mean she isn't well-qualified.


7. Matter of fact, just make her a full-time analyst already. She's proven she's more than up to the task.


8. And while we're at it, isn't about time some of our other favorite sports did this? Lookin' at you, NFL.

9. Finally, how about Jessica's own reaction? It sums things up perfectly.

She spoke to Allure magazine in August, right before she stepped into an MLB broadcast booth for the first time:

"First off, it's been really cool how supportive everyone has been so far. I have definitely heard everything good and bad you could hear from people, and it doesn't bother me. Because when it's something like a tweet that says, 'Women don't know baseball; they shouldn't talk about baseball,' it's like, 'OK, welcome to 2015. Where have you been for the last 20 years?'"

This is how things are supposed to work. You get an opportunity, you work hard, you do a good job, and you get more opportunities.

Yes, this was a historic and powerful moment, but it also just made sense.

Hopefully someday soon, having a woman inside a sports broadcast booth won't be a bigger story than the result of the game itself.

Joy

1991 blooper clip of Robin Williams and Elmo is a wholesome nugget of comedic genius

Robin Williams is still bringing smiles to faces after all these years.

Robin Williams and Elmo (Kevin Clash) bloopers.

The late Robin Williams could make picking out socks funny, so pairing him with the fuzzy red monster Elmo was bound to be pure wholesome gold. Honestly, how the puppeteer, Kevin Clash, didn’t completely break character and bust out laughing is a miracle. In this short outtake clip, you get to see Williams crack a few jokes in his signature style while Elmo tries desperately to keep it together.

Williams has been a household name since what seems like the beginning of time, and before his death in 2014, he would make frequent appearances on "Sesame Street." The late actor played so many roles that if you were ask 10 different people what their favorite was, you’d likely get 10 different answers. But for the kids who spent their childhoods watching PBS, they got to see him being silly with his favorite monsters and a giant yellow canary. At least I think Big Bird is a canary.

When he stopped by "Sesame Street" for the special “Big Bird's Birthday or Let Me Eat Cake” in 1991, he was there to show Elmo all of the wonderful things you could do with a stick. Williams turns the stick into a hockey stick and a baton before losing his composure and walking off camera. The entire time, Elmo looks enthralled … if puppets can look enthralled. He’s definitely paying attention before slumping over at the realization that Williams goofed a line. But the actor comes back to continue the scene before Elmo slinks down inside his box after getting Williams’ name wrong, which causes his human co-star to take his stick and leave.

The little blooper reel is so cute and pure that it makes you feel good for a few minutes. For an additional boost of serotonin, check out this other (perfectly executed) clip about conflict that Williams did with the two-headed monster. He certainly had a way of engaging his audience, so it makes sense that even after all of these years, he's still greatly missed.

Noe Hernandez and Maria Carrillo, the owners of Noel Barber Shop in Anaheim, California.

Jordyn Poulter was the youngest member of the U.S. women’s volleyball team, which took home the gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics last year. She was named the best setter at the Tokyo games and has been a member of the team since 2018.

Unfortunately, according to a report from ABC 7 News, her gold medal was stolen from her car in a parking garage in Anaheim, California, on May 25.

It was taken along with her passport, which she kept in her glove compartment. While storing a gold medal in your car probably isn’t the best idea, she did it to keep it by her side while fulfilling the hectic schedule of an Olympian.

"We live this crazy life of living so many different places. So many of us play overseas, then go home, then come out here and train,” Poulter said, according to ABC 7. "So I keep the medal on me (to show) friends and family I haven't seen in a while, or just people in the community who want to see the medal. Everyone feels connected to it when they meet an Olympian, and it's such a cool thing to share with people."

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Memories of childhood get lodged in the brain, emerging when you least expect.

There are certain pleasurable sights, smells, sounds and tastes that fade into the rear-view mirror as we grow from being children to adults. But on a rare occasion, we’ll come across them again and it's like a portion of our brain that’s been hidden for years expresses itself, creating a huge jolt of joy.

It’s wonderful to experience this type of nostalgia but it often leaves a bittersweet feeling because we know there are countless more sensations that may never come into our consciousness again.

Nostalgia is fleeting and that's a good thing because it’s best not to live in the past. But it does remind us that the wonderful feeling of freedom, creativity and fun from our childhood can still be experienced as we age.

A Reddit user by the name of agentMICHAELscarnTLM posed a question to the online forum that dredged up countless memories and experiences that many had long forgotten. He asked a simple question, “What’s something you can bring up right now to unlock some childhood nostalgia for the rest of us?”

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