New Oakland A's broadcaster Jenny Cavnar making history with faith as her foundation

Jenny Cavnar grew up in the world of baseball. Her dad was a high school coach, and keeping score was something she assumed everyone knew how to do. She never really considered making the sport part of her professional career, though, because the women she saw working in sports were football sideline reporters.

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In 2007, her agent encouraged her to apply for a job covering the San Diego Padres. She got it and has been working on MLB broadcasts ever since. On Feb. 13, Cavnar was hired by NBC Sports California as the Oakland Athletics’ primary play-by-play announcer, becoming the first woman in MLB history to take on that role for a team.

During an appearance on the Sports Spectrum Podcast in 2022, Cavnar expressed her gratitude for the people who have encouraged her along her journey.

“I never imagined even working in baseball, [much less] getting to the level that I’ve been able to get to,” she said then. “And I’m so grateful for people that poured into me and saw those opportunities for me, because I didn’t see them for myself.”

Cavnar spent the past 12 years working for AT&T SportsNet Rocky Mountain as a pregame and postgame host, reporter and backup play-by-play announcer covering her hometown Colorado Rockies. She also contributed to MLB Network Radio and called college basketball games.

A five-time Emmy Award winner, Cavnar became the first woman in 25 years to do TV play-by-play for an MLB game in 2018, and was the first woman to win the National Sports Media Association’s Colorado Sportscaster of the Year award in 2021.

Cavnar’s father, Steve, helped her develop a love for baseball as well as a relationship with the Lord. He was involved in Fellowship of Christian Athletes and hosted FCA events at the family’s house. As Cavnar got older, she made her faith her own.

“I think faith is the foundation of my life,” she said on the podcast. “It’s the foundation of our family. … Days that you doubt a lot, you just trust. You also trust that there’s a path and there’s an end point that God already has ordained and planned for you.”

Married with two kids, Cavnar wants to encourage future generations of women to think about holding all kinds of different jobs in sports, not just the ones typically associated with women. Her goal is to embrace the gifts God has given her and keep carving her own path.

“You can learn from other people and you can pull from how they do the craft, but at the end of the day, you’re the only unique you,” she said on the podcast. “God’s created all of us differently, and so, if I’m not bringing that to the table, then I’m not doing the job justice.”

Cavnar appeared on the “TODAY” show Friday to talk about her journey and what it means to be part of history.

She knows A’s broadcasts will sound a little different this season, and that is exactly what she wants.

“It’s not going to sound traditional, and I don’t want it to,” she said on “TODAY.” “I’m just going to be myself when I get in there.”

Oakland begins its spring training schedule Saturday against the Rockies, of all teams. Its regular-season opener is March 28 against the Cleveland Guardians.

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