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She hurler wows 'em Cleveland Indians

Justine Siegal

GOODYEAR, Arizona – Justine Siegal became the first woman to pitch batting practice in a major league spring training camp when she threw to the Cleveland Indians on Monday.

Not only did she pass the test with flying colors, some people became a little envious along the way.

“She made me look bad,” said manager Manny Acta, who also throws batting practice to Cleveland’s hitters.

Acta played catch with Siegal before she took the mound.

“She was pretty impressive,” he said. “She throws strikes. It was very good.”

He wasn’t alone.

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“If you didn’t see the ponytails, she would have fit right in,” said catcher Paul Phillips, one of the players who took swings off Siegal’s pitches. “She did great.”

Siegal has already broken gender barriers in baseball, having coached at the professional and college levels. She wore a patch honoring Christina Taylor Green, the nine-year-old granddaughter of former major league manager Dallas Green, who was killed in last month’s shootings in Tucson. Christina Taylor Green was the only girl on her local Little League baseball team.

“I haven’t spoken to anyone in the family,” Siegal said. “I asked the league organizers if it would be OK if I wore her patch, and they said please do.”

Siegal, a Cleveland native who grew up rooting for the Indians, fulfilled a lifelong dream. Not only did she make history throwing to her favorite team, she finally got to pitch to major league hitters.

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