If you can play, you can play, regardless of gender. That seems to be the new message Major League Baseball is sending to women: this week, the first female player was added to the MLB's international registration list. The list documents non-American prospects the league is keeping its eye on to possibly sign. Melissa Mayeux, a 16-year-old shortstop from France, is the first woman to ever make it into this select group of potential players. She becomes eligible to be drafted by an American team starting next month.
If Mayeux does make it into the MLB, however, it probably won't be for a while longer. The last time a 16-year-old played professional baseball was in 1956. Unlike basketball and football, few players come into the majors straight out of high school. It's more likely that Mayeux will continue playing in French leagues (she's currently starting in both the under-18 junior squad and the senior softball team) until she graduates, then maybe play baseball for an American college before getting picked up by the MLB.
As she told MLB.com, "I would like very much to continue playing baseball in France until I'm 18 years old, and then have the ability to leave for university or another opportunity abroad. I'd like to stay in baseball as long as possible." We would like that, too.
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