This female analyst just made history at an MLB playoff game. 9 reactions tell the story.

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.

True

When Sue Hoppin was in college, she met the man she was going to marry. "I was attending the University of Denver, and he was at the Air Force Academy," she says. "My dad had also attended the University of Denver and warned me not to date those flyboys from the Springs."

"He didn't say anything about marrying one of them," she says. And so began her life as a military spouse.

The life brings some real advantages, like opportunities to live abroad — her family got to live all around the US, Japan, and Germany — but it also comes with some downsides, like having to put your spouse's career over your own goals.

"Though we choose to marry someone in the military, we had career goals before we got married, and those didn't just disappear."

Career aspirations become more difficult to achieve, and progress comes with lots of starts and stops. After experiencing these unique challenges firsthand, Sue founded an organization to help other military spouses in similar situations.

Sue had gotten a degree in international relations because she wanted to pursue a career in diplomacy, but for fourteen years she wasn't able to make any headway — not until they moved back to the DC area. "Eighteen months later, many rejections later, it became apparent that this was going to be more challenging than I could ever imagine," she says.

Eighteen months is halfway through a typical assignment, and by then, most spouses are looking for their next assignment. "If I couldn't find a job in my own 'hometown' with multiple degrees and a great network, this didn't bode well for other military spouses," she says.

She's not wrong. Military spouses spend most of their lives moving with their partners, which means they're often far from family and other support networks. When they do find a job, they often make less than their civilian counterparts — and they're more likely to experience underemployment or unemployment. In fact, on some deployments, spouses are not even allowed to work.

Before the pandemic, military spouse unemployment was 22%. Since the pandemic, it's expected to rise to 35%.

Sue eventually found a job working at a military-focused nonprofit, and it helped her get the experience she needed to create her own dedicated military spouse program. She wrote a book and started saving up enough money to start the National Military Spouse Network (NMSN), which she founded in 2010 as the first organization of its kind.

"I founded the NMSN to help professional military spouses develop flexible careers they could perform from any location."

"Over the years, the program has expanded to include a free digital magazine, professional development events, drafting annual White Papers and organizing national and local advocacy to address the issues of most concern to the professional military spouse community," she says.

Not only was NMSN's mission important to Sue on a personal level she also saw it as part of something bigger than herself.

"Gone are the days when families can thrive on one salary. Like everyone else, most military families rely on two salaries to make ends meet. If a military spouse wants or needs to work, they should be able to," she says.

"When less than one percent of our population serves in the military," she continues, "we need to be able to not only recruit the best and the brightest but also retain them."

"We lose out as a nation when service members leave the force because their spouse is unable to find employment. We see it as a national security issue."

"The NMSN team has worked tirelessly to jumpstart the discussion and keep the challenges affecting military spouses top of mind. We have elevated the conversation to Congress and the White House," she continues. "I'm so proud of the fact that corporations, the government, and the general public are increasingly interested in the issues affecting military spouses and recognizing the employment roadblocks they unfairly have faced."

"We have collectively made other people care, and in doing so, we elevated the issues of military spouse unemployment to a national and global level," she adds. "In the process, we've also empowered military spouses to advocate for themselves and our community so that military spouse employment issues can continue to remain at the forefront."

Not only has NMSN become a sought-after leader in the military spouse employment space, but Sue has also seen the career she dreamed of materializing for herself. She was recently invited to participate in the public re-launch of Joining Forces, a White House initiative supporting military and veteran families, with First Lady Dr. Jill Biden.

She has also had two of her recommendations for practical solutions introduced into legislation just this year. She was the first in the Air Force community to show leadership the power of social media to reach both their airmen and their military families.

That is why Sue is one of Tory Burch's "Empowered Women" this year. The $5,000 donation will be going to The Madeira School, a school that Sue herself attended when she was in high school because, she says, "the lessons I learned there as a student pretty much set the tone for my personal and professional life. It's so meaningful to know that the donation will go towards making a Madeira education more accessible to those who may not otherwise be able to afford it and providing them with a life-changing opportunity."

Most military children will move one to three times during high school so having a continuous four-year experience at one high school can be an important gift. After traveling for much of her formative years, Sue attended Madeira and found herself "in an environment that fostered confidence and empowerment. As young women, we were expected to have a voice and advocate not just for ourselves, but for those around us."

To learn more about Tory Burch and Upworthy's Empowered Women program visit https://www.toryburch.com/empoweredwomen/. Nominate an inspiring woman in your community today!

Vanna White appeared on "The Price Is Right" in 1980.

Vanna White has been a household name in the United States for decades, which is kind of hilarious when you consider how she gained her fame and fortune. Since 1982, the former model and actress has made millions walking back and forth turning letters (and later simply touching them—yay technology) on the game show "Wheel of Fortune."

That's it. Walking back and forth in a pretty evening gown, flipping letters and clapping for contestants. More on that job in a minute…

As a member of Gen X, television game shows like "Wheel of Fortune" and "The Price is Right" send me straight back to my childhood. Watching this clip from 1980 of Vanna White competing on "The Price is Right" two years before she started turning letters on "Wheel of Fortune" is like stepping into a time machine. Bob Barker's voice, the theme music, the sound effects—I swear I'm home from school sick, lying on the ugly flowered couch with my mom checking my forehead and bringing me Tang.

This video has it all: the early '80s hairstyles, a fresh-faced Vanna White and Bob Barker's casual sexism that would never in a million years fly today.

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