Monday, January 18, 2016

Jessica Mendoza Permanently Joins Sunday Night Baseball

Softball legend Jessica Mendoza will be a full-time member of ESPN's Sunday Night Baseball broadcast team during the 2016 season, it was announced in a news release by the network.

Mendoza, an Olympic legend and a longtime professional player, retired from playing in May of 2014. A member of ESPN since 2007, she has become a fixture in the booth during the softball postseason.

Mendoza called her first MLB game on a Monday night in June, after 'paying her dues' as a member of the Baseball Tonight cast of analysts. After an ill-fated tweet by Curt Schilling, he was pulled from his Sunday Night assignment and Mendoza took his place. Her first entrance into the network's premiere weekly live game broadcast happened to be the night Cubs pitcher Jake Arrieta threw a no-hitter against the Dodgers, marking history with more history.

Since joining ESPN, Mendoza has worked not only as a softball analyst, but also as a college football sideline reporter and the afore-mentioned appearances on Baseball Tonight. After Schilling was removed from Sunday night broadcasts for the remainder of the 2015 campaign, Mendoza was selected to take his place during that same period.

Then working with former MLB John Kruk as a co-analyst and veteran play-by-play man Dan Shulman, she performed well. Her permanent assignment in 2016 will pair her again with Shulman, as well as former New York Yankees postseason hero Aaron Boone, who will make his own Sunday Night Baseball debut this season.

Also noted in the press release was Mendoza's request to continue to call the Women's College World Series. Though she'll likely not be seen in softball broadcast booths during the rest of the season, she will be in Oklahoma City.

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