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Cherokee County’s Melanie Newman makes history with 1st MLB all-women broadcast team

TAMPA — There was history — and her story, too — in the broadcast booth at Tropicana Field on Tuesday night.

For the first time in Major League Baseball history, an all-women announcing crew called a game as the Tampa Bay Rays played the Baltimore Orioles.

The YouTube broadcast featured Melanie Newman on play-by-play with Sarah Langs as the analyst. Alanna Rizzo was the on-field reporter. Heidi Watney and Lauren Gardner hosted the pregame and postgame coverage.

Newman grew up in Cherokee County and graduated from Etowah High School in 2009. She made history in the 2020 season as the first woman broadcaster to call play-by-play in a regular season game for the Baltimore Orioles.

“This was so much FUN!” Langs tweeted after the Rays’ 9-3 win.

“Honored to be part of a historic moment, but more than anything, just so overjoyed to get to work alongside” her colleagues, she said, praising them as “Strong, smart & inspiring WOMEN and PEOPLE!”

Newman is the Orioles’ play-by-play radio announcer, Langs writes for MLB.com and Rizzo, Watney and Gardner are on air for MLB Network.

“It’s not a novelty, it’s about normalcy,” MLB Network tweeted. “Trailblazers” posted the official MLB Twitter account.

Tennis champion and social justice advocate Billie Jean King celebrated the broadcast by posting on Twitter: “It’s a history-making night for #MLB.”

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