'Minor League Baseball is absolutely willing to have whoever is most qualified'
EUGENE, Ore. - There are only two female umpires in Minor League Baseball, and one of them is in the Northwest League, starting the season with the Eugene Emeralds.
Emma Charlesworth-Seiler will take the field again Monday, after being here for the entire series against Vancouver.
The Em's General Manager says he thinks it's the first time the Northwest League has ever had a female umpire.
We all see it as a big deal, but for her, it's business as usual.
We're so used to seeing men on the baseball diamond, both players and umpires alike. You'd never know the difference at PK Park, if the ponytail didn't give it away.
Charlesworth-Seiler got her start the same way most umpires do, by getting a college job for extra cash that turned into a passion that eventually brought her to the big stage.
"I've always loved baseball," said Charlesworth-Seiler. "I thought I'd just give it a shot, and it turns out I sort of enjoyed it."
She's one of only two female minor league baseball umpires, and there are no women in the major leagues.
With no surprise, a lot of people are taking notice of her presence, including of course the general manager of the Eugene Emeralds who says it's awesome to have her here.
"I have two little sisters who love baseball and love softball," said Allan Benavides. "I call my sister, Connie, and told her we're having a female umpire to open the series and she was like, 'No way, that's amazing.'"
This is Charlesworth-Seiler's second year on the job, and her first year doing it in front of fans. She says that if she can inspire young girls in the crowd, so be it. But more than anything, she's proof that the door is open, and opportunity is there.
"It's clear that Minor League Baseball is absolutely willing to have whoever is most qualified and good at their job," said Charlesworth-Seiler.
Just like the boys, now that she's here, she's working her way up the ranks. She just might turn a few heads along the way.
If you haven't seen Charlesworth-Seiler yet, she'll be on the field on Monday and Tuesday night, finishing out the series vs. Vancouver. Both of the games start at 7:05 p.m.