Thursday, August 11, 2016

Normal CornBelters Sign First Female Coach

For the first time in league history, a female coach has been signed by the Normal CornBelters.

Justine Siegal, who has worked with multiple MLB teams, will be officially presented to fans and the media at noon on Friday. Siegal, who has a PhD in Sport and Exercise Psychology, will be available for all questions and interviews.

"We are excited to have Justine as a permanent member of our coaching staff as we make our playoff push," team president Steve Malliet said. "Her years of baseball knowledge are a perfect complement to Brooks Carey and his staff of great coaches."

Last September, Siegal spent two weeks with the Oakland A's in the instructional league throwing batting practice, as well as leading classroom exercises for the players and undertaking various other coaching responsibilities.

Siegal was the first female to throw batting practice for several MLB teams, including the Cleveland Indians, Tampa Bay Rays, Houston Astros, New York Mets and St. Louis Cardinals.

In 2009, Siegal was named as an assistant coach for the Brockton (MA) Rox, making her the first female on-field coach in men's professional baseball.

Siegal spoke to USA Today on Wednesday, saying "We have this cultural myth that baseball is for boys and softball is for girls...The American consciousness is ready to tackle the question of why, and to offer opportunities for girls and boys to play baseball."

The Friday press conference will be held at the CornBelters' offices, 1000 W. Raab Rd in Normal.

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