#SeeHer Story Recognizes Olympic Gold Medalist and Baseball Pioneer Jessica Mendoza
#SeeHer Story airs every Friday on PEOPLE.com and on @people social media platforms
Jessica Mendoza‘s accomplishments in paving a path for women in sports has been nothing short of a home run.
That’s why #SeeHer Story, the digital video series from Katie Couric Media and PEOPLE, picked Mendoza’s extraordinary journey to celebrate in this week’s episode.
The goal of #SeeHer Story is to recognize various female trailblazers ranging from the past 100 years to today and celebrate how they’ve helped to shape history and culture.
As this year marks the centennial anniversary of the 19th amendment —which gave women the right to vote — passing, the series hopes to commemorate such an important time for women in history.
The series — which is made up of short vignettes created and narrated by Couric — premiered last Friday and will air weekly on PEOPLE.com.
Mendoza’s love for baseball started at a young age.
Going from practice to practice with her dad — who coached at a community college in California — the then four-year-old little girl felt the dugout was her home.
She started playing softball as a kid and analyzing game tapes with her dad in her spare time — when she wasn’t rewatching A League of Their Own.
“Girls are portrayed as athletes and real – like different. I could quote that movie every single line,” she shared in the clip of the video.
The athlete eventually made a name for herself in the sport, becoming one of the greatest college softball players of all time.
She later joined the United States women’s national softball team, helping to bring home a gold medal in Athens and later silver in Beijing.
The biggest gamechanger for Mendoza, however, was becoming a TV announcer.
Though she received criticism for being a woman commenting on a male-centric sport, Mendoza stayed strong — eventually making history as Major League Baseball’s first full-time female announcer.
“I had no idea that I’d be able to even just be on a consistent part of baseball, let alone on Sunday night baseball,” she added.
Continuing to showcase her skills today, Mendoza signed a multi-year contract with ESPN in 2018 and was inducted into the National Softball Hall of Fame.
But what’s most important to the athlete? Making sure her two sons understand that a woman can play on the field just as much as any man.
“#SeeHer Story celebrates the important contributions of bold women from the past one hundred years who have changed our country forever,” said Couric of the show. “We hope recognizing them and telling their stories will not only give them their due but will also inspire the next generation of leaders.”
#SeeHer Story will also be a regular feature in PEOPLE’s print edition, the weekday morning newsletter Wake-Up Call with Katie Couric, on PeopleTV’s entertainment show PEOPLE Now as well as on PEOPLE Now Weekend.
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