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Breath of Fresh Air

Dec. 28, 2015
Dec. 28, 2015

Table of Contents
Dec. 28, 2015

INBOX
THE COMEBACK
The Lives They Led
  • From the Giant who became a broadcasting mainstay to the Moses who led Philadelphia to the promised land, from Tark the Shark to Mr. Cub to the Snake, indelible figures across a wide range of sports passed away in 2015

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Breath of Fresh Air

A breakthrough year for women in the booth

JESSICA MENDOZA MADE broadcasting history in October when she served as an ESPN analyst for the Astros-Yankees American League wild-card game, becoming the first woman to call a nationally televised MLB playoff game. Last week SI caught up with the 35-year-old two-time Olympian (in softball).

This is an article from the Dec. 28, 2015 issue

SI: How satisfying was this baseball season for you professionally?

Mendoza: It was a whirlwind. I really look forward to diving into baseball on a more consistent basis throughout the entire season.

SI: What was the single most memorable broadcasting moment for you and why?

JM: Probably the bottom of the ninth for [Cubs pitcher] Jake Arrieta's no-hitter [on Aug. 30] versus the Dodgers. I had a lot of nerves coming into that game, my first time in a Sunday Night Baseball booth. But once the game began, it was about the performance on the field. I loved delving into what makes Jake so unique, how he was able to be so dominant even in the ninth and to just lay out that last inning so viewers could feel the intensity of such an impressive moment.

SI: What was your approach to negative commenters on Twitter and Facebook?

JM: I came in knowing there would be resistance. Whether I was great, decent or horrible, people were going to have a strong reaction because it was different. So my approach was to do my job, and I honestly stayed away from social media for a bit.

SI: What have you been told by ESPN about your assignment next year?

JM: Still hammering out all of the details, but I am looking forward to being a part of our MLB team on a weekly basis.

PHOTOPHIL ELLSWORTH/ESPN IMAGES (MENDOZA)