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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.

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