Kelsie Whitmore, of Temecula, has been making waves for women in baseball all season with the Staten Island FerryHawks of the Atlantic League. Valley News/Courtesy photo

STATEN ISLAND, NY – Playing baseball is hard. There is no doubt about it. Of course, the same can be said for any sport, but when it comes to succeeding in a game of failure, where hitting a ball and getting on base safely three out of ten times (.300 Batting Average), year after year, could land a professional player in the Hall of Fame, baseball is extremely difficult.

The percentages of players that grow up playing the game, making it past high school, past college and into the pros varies greatly. In studying every draft from 1981 to 2010, less than one in five players who were drafted and signed a contract ended up making it to the majors. That is 17.6% of players drafted in June’s MLB draft that will eventually make it, according to the website Baseball America.

The MLB Amateur Draft has gone through some revamps since then and percentages could differ since 2010, but probably not by much. Take all that into the equation, and then add being a female in the game. No female has ever been drafted or played in the MLB or MiLB, but Temecula native Kelsie Whitmore has certainly come the closest. If you have been following her story, you already know she made history earlier this year signing a professional contract with the Staten Island FerryHawks of the Atlantic League, which is a league affiliated with the MLB.

Temecula’s Kelsie Whitmore, pictured here during batting practice, recorded her first professional Atlantic League hit in a 7-4 loss to the Long Island Ducks Saturday, Sept. 3. Valley News/Courtesy photo

Whitmore first pinch ran, then started in the outfield, then started on the mound, recorded her first strike out, got a walk in one of her at-bats, and has been patiently waiting to get her first hit. Every first for Whitmore is historic for all females looking to play professional baseball.

It has been 50 years since the passage of Title IX and many women like Whitmore are finding their way into baseball roles no one like them has had before. Kim Ng is the general manager of the Miami Marlins, Eve Rosenbaum was named assistant general manager of the rising Baltimore Orioles, Alyssa Nakken is a coach for the San Francisco Giants and Rachel Balkovec is managing a New York Yankees minor league affiliate. That list is hardly all-inclusive.

Rostered currently with Team USA Women’s National Baseball team, Whitmore took a bit of time off to play in a series against Canada last month, but she was reactivated to the FerryHawks roster on Aug. 3. On Saturday, Sept. 3, the former Temecula Valley Golden Bear, recorded her first hit in a 7-4 loss to the Long Island Ducks. The hit not only sent the hometown fans to their feet, but girls all over America.

Even though there haven’t been too many memorable wins for the Staten Island FerryHawks in their inaugural season, every game Whitmore plays in is a win in her eyes. Whitmore is still finding her way as a professional two-way player, hitting .033 (1 for 28), with two walks, two runs scored and 19 strikeouts on offense, while on the mound, in 5.1 innings pitched over seven games, she has one strikeout, has given up two walks, 10 hits, with 14 earned runs and four homeruns.

Currently the FerryHawks are in last place, garnishing a 44-77 record as of Monday, Sept. 5. Only two weeks remain in the season, which gives Whitmore and the FerryHawks ample time to boost their stats.

Follow all the action for Whitmore and the FerryHawks online at https://ferryhawks.com.

JP Raineri can be reached by email at sports@reedermedia.com.