Sports Spectrum Weekly

Christ-follower Melanie Newman first woman to broadcast regular-season Orioles game

Melanie Newman made history Tuesday at Oriole Park simply by showing up to work.

She became the first woman in Baltimore Orioles history to call a regular-season game from the radio booth, as she managed play-by-play duties alongside Geoff Arnold for the Orioles Radio Network.

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“I never even thought that this would be in the realm of possibility for me,” Newman told MLB.com. “It was a situation that presented itself, and of course I said yes. … Being challenged to win teams’ and individuals’ trust, and to have them give me their stories and to know that I’m going to tell them justly, that’s something that I really don’t take for granted. And that means a lot to me.”

The Orioles lost the game to the Miami Marlins, 4-0, to drop to 5-4 on the young season. But from aspiring female broadcasters, to fans, to the franchise itself, congratulations poured in throughout the night.

Newman, 29, is the fourth active female broadcaster in Major League Baseball and the fourth woman to do play-by-play in major league history.

She joined the Orioles organization before the 2020 season and honed her big-league broadcasting skills by calling spring training games this past March. However, due to the coronavirus pandemic, she had to wait a few months longer than expected to make history.

Before her major-league debut, Newman spent extensive time in baseball’s minor leagues with the Diamondbacks, Rangers and Red Sox farm systems. She spent 2019 leading an all-female broadcast team for Boston’s Single-A Carolina League affiliate in Salem, Mass., and last December, she made history as part of college football’s first all-female broadcast crew.

“I feel grateful for having spent so much time in the minor leagues; you get used to the uncertainty,” Newman told MLB.com. “Now that we’ve waited this long … I’ve just been ready to go.”

Newman appeared on the Sports Spectrum Podcast in October 2019. She discussed the long and tiring work days that have helped her climb the broadcast ladder, her role as a broadcasting pioneer for young women and how her faith in Christ remains at the center of it all.

“Having faith doesn’t mean that everything’s perfect 24/7; we go through tough stuff and that’s not because we’re being punished,” she said on the podcast. “That’s not because He doesn’t love us. It’s so that we grow and that we learn. Having faith doesn’t mean your life is going to be perfect. It just means that you have something that’s going to get you through those moments that are tough.”

Newman references the Bible verse Psalm 46:5 in her Twitter and Instagram bios: “God is within her, she will not fall; God will help her at break of day.”

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