Ria Cortesio: Our New Favorite Blue

In a follow-up to the Hey Ladies! story from Tuesday...

Ria Cortesio successfully became the first female umpire to work a major league exhibition game since Pam Postema in 1989 when she was on the bases Thursday for the Chicago Cubs' 7-4 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks split squad.

Her phone was ringing off the hook Thursday morning as the hype surrounding her assignment began to build.
"When I found out I had this game, my plan was to sneak in, work the game and sneak out and hope no one noticed," she said. "That didn't happen."
Cortesio, 30, hustled across the infield, making her calls with an unequivocal fist pump. She blended right in with a dark blue hat, light blue shirt and gray slacks during her flawless performace at first and third base.

Cortesio is the only female umpire in professional baseball as she starts her ninth year overall and fifth in Double-A. Once she makes it to AAA, she'll be evaluated by major league umpire supervisors.

If they judged her well, she would be invited to the Fall League, then to a full schedule of major league spring training games before getting a spot as a fill-in in the majors.

That would certainly be something, since no female ump has ever worked a regular-season game in the big leagues. Cortesio obviously hopes to be the first, which she describes as the best-case scenario.

Cubs manager Lou Piniella, notorious for his run-ins with umpires over the years, had this to say on Cortesio's big league pursuit...
"I think it's good. I really do. I think there is a place for women in the umpiring ranks - they're certainly as qualified as anybody else. I'm sure if they get the same opportunities, the same schooling that their male counterparts do, they'll do a really nice job."

[FOX Sports]


Debra said...

They had preseason games on all week until yesterday. I so wanted to be able to watch this woman work. Crosses fingers that it happens for real in a year or two.

And that it isn't made too big of a deal.

rstiles said...

I can't believe there is not a woman umpire yet...heck, you have a woman working NBA games....

A woman needs to break that barrier...

ian said...

I caught the game on MLB.tv and she just blended in with the other umpires. She did a great job. I really hope she does make it to the show.

ian said...

She's gonna have to learn her cliches too:

Crash Davis: You're gonna have to learn your clich├ęs. You're gonna have to study them, you're gonna have to know them. They're your friends. Write this down: "We gotta play it one day at a time."

And Crash also has some advice from his stay in the show:

Yeah, I was in the show. I was in the show for 21 days once - the 21 greatest days of my life. You know, you never handle your luggage in the show, somebody else carries your bags. It was great. You hit white balls for batting practice, the ballparks are like cathedrals, the hotels all have room service, and the women all have long legs and brains.

Sooze said...

Ian gets the award for longest Bull Durham quote ever.