For the first time in Major League Baseball history, a woman will be the primary play-by-play voice of a major team.
NBC Sports California said Tuesday it has chosen Jenny Cavnar, a broadcasting veteran with nearly two decades of baseball experience, for the prestigious role. She will call a majority of the Oakland Athletics’ games this season.
“It is a dream come true to join the broadcast team for the Oakland A’s and their rich baseball history,” Cavnar said in a release. “Growing up the daughter of a baseball coach, I have loved the game from a young age, along with the stories, history, and relationships the game provides.”
Prior to this position, Cavnar was the backup play-by-play announcer, pregame and postgame host for the Colorado Rockies MLB team for the past 12 years. She has called men’s and women’s college basketball games for various TV and radio networks.
NBC also said that she was the “first woman in 25 years to call TV play-by-play for an MLB game in 2018.”
“Jenny is a very talented announcer with significant experience covering baseball,” NBC Sports California president Matt Murphy said in a release. “She’s been a groundbreaking professional who’s earned the admiration of fans and her peers throughout her career.”
Women have played an increasingly important role in covering baseball and other professional sports in recent years.
The Yankees’ radio broadcast color commentator, Suzyn Waldman, has been working the booth in the Bronx since 2005. Jessica Mendoza served as a color commentator for ESPN’s national broadcasts of “Sunday Night Baseball” for a few years starting in 2020, the year she became the first woman to call a World Series game for a national audience.
Doris Burke is among the NBA’s most well-respected color commentators, and she has been broadcasting national games for ESPN for 11 years. And in 2018, Andrea Kremer and Hannah Storm called an NFL game for Amazon, the first all-woman booth for a professional football national broadcast.
Other sports regularly have women calling professional men’s matches, including the Tennis Channel regularly having rotating cast of former players like Chanda Rubin and CoCo Vandeweghe. English Premier League broadcasters, like Sky Sports, also have women regularly calling soccer matches.