Trailblazing MLB analyst Jessica Mendoza makes history with new ESPN role

With a new multiyear contract, Mendoza becomes the first woman to serve as a solo analyst for a national package of MLB game telecasts.
Alex Rodriquez, Astros third baseman Alex Bregman and ESPN commentator Jessica Mendoza before a game  at Minute Maid Park in Houston in 2018.
Alex Rodriquez, Astros third baseman Alex Bregman and ESPN commentator Jessica Mendoza before a game at Minute Maid Park in Houston in 2018.Juan DeLeon / Icon Sportswire via AP file

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By Nicole Acevedo

The baseball analyst Jessica Mendoza will make history at ESPN — again.

The sports network announced Friday that Mendoza had signed a multiyear contract expanding her role at ESPN: She'll become the first woman to serve as a solo analyst for a national package of MLB game, including ESPN’s season-opening coverage, weeknight games and holiday baseball.

In addition, Mendoza will join ESPN Radio’s World Series coverage, becoming the first female analyst on national radio working the series.

Mendoza will step down from her current role as an adviser to the New York Mets and analyst on ESPN’s “Sunday Night Baseball” broadcasts. In 2015, Mendoza became the first female in-game analyst for an MLB game on ESPN. A native of California, she is a second-generation Mexican American.

"Some of the best memories of my career have been with 'Sunday Night Baseball' and I will miss my time with our amazing crew, who have been like family. I’m grateful to ESPN for continuing to commit to me and I can’t wait for the season to get started,” Mendoza said in a statement.

ESPN said they're also adding a "robust collection of assignments" to Mendoza's portfolio, and she will be appearing regularly on "SportsCenter," "Get Up," "First Take" and "Baseball Tonight," among other programs.

She'll also participate in the coverage of the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo.

“I’ve always prioritized my growth, and these new opportunities will allow me to expand my broadcasting career while challenging me at the same time. From calling MLB games on television and radio, to extensive studio work and features, I’m excited about everything that lies ahead," said Mendoza, a National Softball Hall of Famer who is an Olympic gold and silver medalist.

She will also continue to provide commentary for ESPN’s weekday baseball broadcasts, work in the booth for ESPN Radio’s coverage of postseason games and make appearances on the network’s studio shows.

The Mets general manager, Brodie Van Wagenen, said in a statement that they "fully understand and support her need to fully invest her time in all the new platforms" at ESPN.

"We have enjoyed our relationship with Jessica and appreciated all her contributions and insight over the past year," said Van Wagenen. "We have such respect and value for her baseball insight, and know her impact on the game of baseball is just beginning."

Mendoza has been with ESPN since 2007, when she was hired as a softball analyst and college football sideline reporter.

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