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Posted at 9:42 AM ET, 02/22/2011

Justine Siegal makes baseball history by throwing batting practice

By Cindy Boren

There were a number of touching things about Justine Siegal throwing batting practice to the Cleveland Indians at spring training Monday in Goodyear, Ariz.

Siegal, a 36-year-old advocate of "Baseball for All," is believed to be the first woman to throw BP to major leaguers. Her 13-year-old daughter was watching. And she was wearing a patch on her sleeve to honor Christina-Taylor Green, the youngest victim of the Jan. 8 shootings in Tucson and the granddaughter of Dallas Green.

"This is so cool," Jasmine Siegal, Justine's daughter, said. "She's showing that no matter what, you can achieve your goals."

According to the New York Times, Siegal started Baseball for All about 13 years ago with a goal toward promoting baseball -- especially female participation -- globally. It began as a four-team league for women in Cleveland.

"I grew up with a chip on my shoulder," Siegal said. "I had to learn to look for support. I got tired of waiting for opportunities, so I made my own."

The Indians had positive reviews for Siegal, although one of her warmup pitches to Indiana Manager Manny acta sailed over his glove. "I'm not trying to hit you," Siegal yelled. "That's no warning pitch to hitters. I'm really nervous and my heart's beating fast."

Acta, who called her pitching "pretty impressive," said: "It was wonderful to have her pitch for us because she's from Cleveland. "I believe her dad and grandfather still have season tickets. It's multigenerational. For her to do this with our ball club was very special."

Siegal is expected to pitch to the Oakland A's on Wednesday.

"She did great," the backup catcher Paul Phillips said. "She would have fit right in if you had not seen her ponytails."

By Cindy Boren  | February 22, 2011; 9:42 AM ET
Categories:  MLB  
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Hey, that's cool! Good story, thanks.

Posted by: bentoenail | February 22, 2011 9:05 PM | Report abuse

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