‘Female referee’ appears in Major League exhibition game for the first time in 17 years

Referee Jen Powell calls a foul

Umpire Powell is the third female referee to appear in an MLB exhibition game.

Umpire Jen Powell (left) serves as the third base umpire in the 2024 MLB exhibition game between the Houston Astros and the Washington Nationals held at the Cacti Park of the Palm Beach in West Palm Beach, Florida on the 25th (Korean time).

A female referee stood on the field for the first time in 17 years in an exhibition game in the Major League Baseball (MLB).

The Associated Press reported on the 25th (Korean time), “Jen Powell (47), who has been working as a professional baseball umpire for eight years, has made the leap from ‘minor league umpire’ to ‘umpire who made decisions in MLB exhibition games.’”

Umpire Powell served as the third base umpire in the 1st to 3rd innings, the second base umpire in the 4th to 6th innings, and the first base umpire in the 6th to 9th innings in the 2024 MLB exhibition game between the Houston Astros and Washington Nationals held at Cacti Park of the Palm Beach, West Palm Beach, Florida, USA. I went out.

The Associated Press said, “This is the first time in 17 years that a female referee has appeared in an MLB exhibition game since referee Leah Cortesio in 2007.”

At the same time, referee Powell became the third female referee to appear in an MLB exhibition game, following Pam Postema in 1988 and Cortesio in 2007.

Powell said after the game, “It’s a very special day. The coaches and players of both teams and everyone I met at the stadium today congratulated me.”

Umpire Powell, who played softball in high school, became the seventh female umpire ever hired in the U.S. minor league in 2016.Last year she played in the minor league Triple A.

Powell chatting with fellow referees

There has yet to be a female referee in the MLB regular season.

The Associated Press said, “Female referees appeared in the National Basketball Association (NBA) in 1997, 27 years ago, and in the National Football League (NFL) in 2015. In men’s soccer, a female referee also conducted the game at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.” He pointed out MLB’s conservative stance.

Umpire Powell is considered the most likely candidate to break the glass ceiling that MLB has tightly closed for female umpires.

He plans to be on the field consistently during this spring training period, including serving as a referee in exhibition games against Washington and Miami Marlins on the 26th Korean time.

There are currently 76 big league umpires who have signed formal contracts with the MLB Secretariat.

If there is a vacancy due to injury or vacation, MLB calls up some of the minor league umpires invited to spring camp.

Last year, 21 of the 26 referees invited to spring training were called to the regular season and made decisions in MLB regular season games.

Umpire Powell is from the minor league, but was invited to this MLB exhibition game and was named on the list of candidates for a replacement umpire in the big league. 성인웹툰

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