Kelsie Whitmore Makes History as First Woman to Start in an Atlantic League Baseball Game

The Atlantic League is an MLB partner league, and Kelsie Whitmore plays for the Staten Island FerryHawks

Kelsie Whitmore talks with the news media. Whitmore and Stacy Piagno, were signed to play for the independent minor league team the Sonoma Stompers who took on the San Rafael Pacifics on Fri. July 1, 2016, in Sonoma, California.
Photo: Michael Macor/The San Francisco Chronicle via Getty

Kelsie Whitmore just made history, becoming the first woman to start in an Atlantic League of Professional Baseball (ALPB) game on Sunday, according to USA Today affiliate The Gaston Gazette.

The baseball player, 23, started in left field and batted ninth in the game between her team, the Staten Island Ferryhawks, and the Gastonia Honey Hunters in Gastonia, North Carolina.

More than a week prior to starting, Whitmore was a pinch runner for the FerryHawks game against Charleston — becoming the first woman to participate in an ALPB game, The Gaston Gazette reported.

The FerryHawks' outfielder just signed with the team in April. According to, Whitmore previously played exclusively for the United States women's national baseball team from 2014 to 2019.

She is a former member of the Sonoma Stompers under the former Pacific Association of Professional Baseball Clubs. As a pitcher with the Stompers, Whitmore formed the first professional all-female battery (AKA the combination of the pitcher and catcher) with catcher Anna Kimbrell in 2016, said.

During Sunday's game, Whitmore started off strong by bringing in a pop fly in the bottom of the first inning. She fielded two other balls in the game but came up short later on, causing the Hunters to gain two home runs. Whitmore batted in the third, fifth, and seventh innings.

After the game, she told the Gazette, "On the next at-bat, my goal was to be short and quick, try to go the right side and I just got under it. But it's all about putting together good at-bats, making adjustments at-bat by at-bat and day by day. That's baseball."

The Ferryhawks ultimately lost 10-5, but the game marked a major feat for women in baseball, though no woman has yet to play in an MLB game.

Whitmore told the Gazette, "If you really want something bad enough, you'll do anything you can to make it happen."

"You have to put in the work. It's going to be hard, it will not be easy. There are going to be moments where you're going to ask yourself exactly how bad you want it."

She continued, "I was in the outfield today, kind of standing there and thinking, 'Damn, I'm really here right now, right where I want to be.' Obviously, I'm not where I want to wind up, I want to go to higher levels and go as far as I can. But I'm currently on the path and I'm living a dream, I just want it to continue."

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