As baseball celebrated Jackie Robinson across the country on Friday by donning his No. 42 and honoring his legacy, Pittsburgh Pirates manager Clint Hurdle believes another barrier will soon be broken in America's pastime.
Before the Pirates lost to the Milwaukee Brewers, Hurdle was asked about Robinson's impact on the game, and he said it goes beyond breaking racial barriers.
"This isn't just an African-American celebration. This is about the opening of doors for everybody," Hurdle said, according to the Beaver County Times. "I still believe firmly there is going to be a day where there is a female player in the big leagues. I got that. Where it goes, I don't know. I don't believe I'll be in the dugout to see it."
Hurdle, 58, may not be too far off. After all, it wasn't too long ago when Mo'Ne Davis dominated the Little League World Series, though her dream lies in basketball. Even so, Sarah Hudek, who pitched for the U.S. in the Pan Am Games last summer, earned her first win as a reliever in college baseball two months ago.
As for coaching, Justine Siegal made history by being a guest instructor for the Oakland Athletics' Instructional League team last fall.
Sports Illustrated's Richard Deitsch asked several reporters who cover Major League Baseball last month if they believe they would see a female baseball player in the next 50 years, and the answers were split.
But if Hurdle's comments have merit, then there's a chance.