ESPN Baseball Analyst Jessica Mendoza On Why She's Determined To Keep Women In Men's Sports

"It's 2016, people. Women can do anything."

"All of the sudden you're playing pick-up ball with the boys in the street and they're just like, 'She's a girl, she can't play,' " Jessica Mendoza says in a video for Allure magazine. "And I'm like, 'Have you seen my skills? Come on, bring it on.' "

Mendoza, ESPN's Sunday Night Baseball analyst, talks about growing up in a large, Mexican family, and how being the daughter of a football and baseball coach led her to a life in sports.

"We always were so comfortable in our skin," Mendoza says with regards to her family, a support system that made her feel beautiful and strong. 

And perhaps it's this confidence that has led Mendoza to be such a strong female figure in the world of men's sports.

Since she was just 4 years old, Mendoza says she remembers being influenced by sports. Since then, she's played on the U.S. women's softball team, became the "first woman to call the plays for a major league baseball game on ESPN Baseball Tonight," and, most recently, she took the job as an analyst for Sunday Night Baseball.

"I think the biggest moment that happened for me was [an] opportunity that scared me. And I think for all of us, getting outside of your comfort zone is really when the magic happens. It's scary. And for me, it was doing things I'd never done before."

Unfortunately, Mendoza, like many women in men's sports, has faced backlash — but it hasn't stopped her. 

"[People] hate me so much for being a female in a men's sport. And I'm just like, 'Really? It's 2016, people. Women can do anything.' "

And Mendoza recognizes her responsibility to encourage others to follow in her footsteps. 

"Every day, I'm thinking I can [be] studying more. I can be doing more to prepare. Because I need to make sure this door to women in a men's sport stays open." 

"I'm different. I recognize that ... People are going to want to say she doesn't belong. I want to prove to them I do."

Be sure to check out the full interview below: