Ferry Hawk has signed Kelsey Whitmore as the first woman in the Atlantic League

History was made on Staten Island.

Kelsie Whitmore has signed with the Atlantic League’s Staten Island FerryHawks to become the first woman to join a league associated with Major League Baseball.

Whitmore will field and play for Staten Island FerryHawks, a new team in the Atlantic League, which is not affiliated with MLB but is an MLB partner league. She will be joining the FerryHawks when spring training begins on Monday.

“I am very grateful and excited to have this opportunity to sign with FerryHawks,” Whitmore said on MLB.com. I’ve been working for an opportunity like this my whole life, and I’m ready to go after it and compete.”

Kelsie Whitmore is the first female sign with a league associated with Major League Baseball.
Hearst Newspapers via Getty Images

Whitmore, at just 23 years old, has a long list of awards. She has been a member of the United States women’s national baseball team since 2014, and won a gold medal at the 2015 Pan American Games in Toronto and again in 2019 at the Women’s Pan American Championships in Mexico. She was also part of the 2014 WBSC Women’s Baseball World Cup silver medalist team in Canada and collected a 1.35 ERA for Team USA from 2014-19.

The double threat made a name for herself as a bowler and defensive player on Cal State’s softball team Fullerton, who was named Big West Conference player of the year last spring. However, baseball has always been Whitmore’s main priority.

She has also played in the men’s professional league once before, appearing in 17 games for the Pacific League Baseball Association’s independent Sonoma Stompers in 2016-2017.

“At the end of the day, Kelsie is a baseball player,” FerryHawks general manager Gary Byron told Sports Illustrated. “If someone loves the game and proves themselves over and over again, they deserve to be given a chance.”

The FerryHawks will begin their season on April 21 when they play the Charleston Dirty Birds. Their first home game is scheduled for May 3.

“It sounds like pressure, a lot of pressure, but you just change your perspective to accept that pressure,” Whitmore said. “There will be failures accompanying it, and understanding that this is part of it. I will make mistakes. I will fail. And that is all part of it. My biggest goal was to come here to develop and gain the knowledge to be the best version of myself.”