Minors Hire First Female Umpire Since 2007

ST. PETERSBURG, FL — Former USA Baseball National Team player Jen Pawol became the seventh female umpire in the Minor Leagues when the Gulf Coast League (GCL) hired her for the 2016 season.

Pawol is the first female umpire in the GCL since Pam Postema in the 1977-78 seasons, and the first female umpire in Minor League Baseball since 2007.

"Beginning my career as a professional baseball umpire this week is a privilege that goes beyond words," Pawol said. "I went to the Major League Baseball Umpire Camps and the Minor League Baseball Umpire Training Academy with an open mind, a strong work ethic and a passion for umpiring, and I'm honored to be starting this exciting journey in the Gulf Coast League."

Pawol will become the seventh woman to umpire a Minor League Baseball game, joining Bernice Gera (1972), Christine Wren (1975-77), Postema (1977-89), Theresa Cox Fairlady (1989-91), Ria Cortesio (1999-2007) and Shanna Kook (2003-04).

"Jen worked extremely hard during the Umpire Training Academy and proved herself during a very competitive Advanced Course to earn this assignment," said Minor League Baseball Director of Umpire Development Dusty Dellinger. "We are pleased to have someone of her talent joining the professional umpiring ranks and I'm confident she'll do a great job."

Pawol was a decorated softball catcher and shortstop at Hofstra University and competed for the USA Baseball Women's National Team. She later received a master's degree in fine arts from Hunter College. Pawol began her umpiring career in 2006 and worked Division I softball through 2015, including assignments in the Big Ten Conference during the 2013-15 seasons.