“The barrier has opened up for women in the U.S.,” Nuñez said. “Now we’ve got to keep fighting because so many other barriers have to be brought down. I’ve met plenty of Latino coaches on the minor league side, but I haven’t met many Black coaches. I definitely haven’t seen many women of color, so for me, we’re just getting started.”
Despite progress, stubborn hurdles remain.
A watershed moment for the text group, and women in the sport, came a year ago. During a celebration following the Houston Astros clinching a trip to the World Series, Brandon Taubman, the team’s assistant general manager, yelled at a group of female reporters in the clubhouse, “Thank God we got Osuna,” along with an expletive.
Taubman was referring to Roberto Osuna, a relief pitcher acquired by the Astros in 2018 while he was serving a 75-game suspension because of accusations of domestic violence. Three days after a Sports Illustrated article brought the Taubman outburst to light, the Astros fired Taubman. The group text lit up.
“We kind of used it to talk more about what women face in general, instead of that specific incident, so that way nobody who may or may not have been involved felt like they had to talk on that specifically,” said Wolf, who knew some women in the group might have known or worked with Taubman.
Over all, Wolf — echoing the sentiments of Nakken and Nuñez — said her experience working in baseball had been overwhelmingly positive.
“If it wasn’t, I wouldn’t still be here,” she added. “That said, it’s not perfect. It can definitely improve.”
At a basic level, Wolf said, more teams need to be aware of their team work gear (“Making sure you have clothes that fit women and you’re not just giving them men’s stuff,” she said) and facilities, like appropriate bathrooms and locker rooms for women. Wolf had to use an empty umpires’ locker room at the Mets’ minor league facility in Port St. Lucie, Fla., because there wasn’t a dedicated space for women.