Only 16 years of age, Melissa Mayeux made Major League Baseball history by becoming the first known female baseball player to be added to MLB’s international registration list. Making herself eligible to be signed by a Major League club following July 2, Mayeux is currently a member of the French National U-18 women’s baseball team.
Adding to the momentum of players such as Mo’ne Davis and Emma March at the 2014 Little League World Series, complemented by the fact that women’s baseball shall contested at the 2015 Pan Am Games (the first time it is included in a major multi-national sporting competition), the dream of a woman reaching the major leagues is beginning to become feasible. The fact that Mayeux is among a list of international prospects added to the international registration list is testament to her abilities as an elite baseball player. As a side note, she is also a member of France’s national women’s softball team, extending her love of the diamond.
Competing at the shortstop position, MLB Director of International Game Development Mike McClellan told Lindsay Berra that she is very smooth and fluid on the field, while swinging the bat really well. Participating in a tournament in Barcelona, Spain, she was part of a team consisting of boys, and managed a base hit off a Dominican pitcher who was throwing in the 90 mph range. Along with her older brother Dylan, the two are teammates with the Cougars de Montigny-le-Bretonneux.
While she plans to play baseball in France until she is 18 years old, the only plans she has contemplated are to pursue university. Although women’s baseball is not yet an NCAA sanctioned sport, she will likely have many scholarship opportunities for softball.
With France competing in the 2017 World Baseball Classic, there is already speculation that Mayeux will be allowed an opportunity to qualify for the final roster. Should she qualify, not only would she become the first woman to compete in the event, but it would serve as a very good measuring stick of her abilities to go further in the sport.
Although she was not aware that her addition to the registry made national news in the United States, it marked a significant step towards sporting equality. This August, she shall participate in Major League Baseball’s European Elite Camp, which has existed for ten years.
Before she attends that camp, she will be in attendance at a pitching and hitting camp in Germany, featuring former Major Leaguer Steve Finley, which should only serve to increase her confidence. With several major league players (including former Cincinnati Reds shortstop Barry Larkin) and managers in attendance at the Elite Camp, it will allow Mayeux the opportunity of a lifetime to showcase her skills, and possibly extend her historic legacy.
References: Lindsay Berra