KISSIMMEE, Fla. -- Justine Siegal, who earlier this year became the first woman to throw batting practice to a Major League team, pitched to one round of Astros players Saturday in the fifth stop of her scheduled six throwing sessions in the Cactus and Grapefruit Leagues.
Siegal threw to Astros players Carlos Lee, Clint Barmes, Matt Downs and Bill Hall on one of the back fields at Osceola County Stadium. She had previously thrown to the Cleveland Indians, Oakland A's, Tampa Bay Rays and St. Louis Cardinals, and is scheduled to pitch to the New York Mets on Sunday.
"This was the first time I wasn't as nervous as I usually am," she said. "Usually, my heart is coming out of my chest. I was singing a U2 song while I was up there and trying to chill out. It was a lot of fun."
Siegal pitched herself to general managers at the Winter Meetings last December, and got a positive response from Ed Wade. She started "Baseball for All," an organization that promotes baseball everywhere with an eye toward participation by women, a program that grew from an all-women's baseball league in Cleveland.
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From 2007-10, she served as an assistant coach with the men's baseball team at Springfield College in Massachusetts. She was a first-base coach for the Brockton Rox of the Can-Am League in 2009. Currently she is pursuing a Ph.D. in sport and exercise psychology at Springfield.
And now her dream to pitch batting practice to Major Leaguers has become a reality.
She travels with her 13-year-old daughter, Jasmine, and pitches in the memory of Christina Taylor Green, the 9-year-old who was killed in the Jan. 8 shooting in Tucson, Ariz. Green was the granddaughter of Dallas Green, former Major League player, manager and baseball executive. Siegal wears a memorial patch in tribute to Green.
"The Green family gave me the best comment possible," she said. "The said they're proud of me."