For most of us, high school sports are a way to stay in shape, make friends and maybe, if we're lucky, get a scholarship for college. Very few of us expect to make sports history.
But that's exactly what 16-year-old French baseball player Melissa Mayeux has accomplished. On Sunday (June 21st), Mayeux, who is known for her deft skills as a shortstop on the French U-18 junior national team, became the first known woman to be listed on the MLB's national registration list.
The list is comprised of athletes from all over the world who have the potential to be signed as MLB players. Now that Mayeux is registered on it, she could, in theory, be signed to an MLB as early as July 2nd of this year.
Mayeux also plays for France's senior national softball team, and has been invited to participate in the MLB's European Elite camp, which takes place in Tirrenia, Italy, in August. There, she will work alongside MLB giants like Hall of Fame shortstop Barry Larkin. The prestigious camp has a solid track record for sending its alum to the pros -- in the last decade, 76 players have gone on from the camp to play for the MLB.
So, will Mayeaux be stepping up to the plate to take on the title of first female MLB player?
Probably not right away. A spokesperson from the MLB said in a press release that most European prospects don't sign with the organization until they are 18 years old. That's likely fine with Mayeaux, who reports that she wants to continue to play in France for at least two more years anyway, after which point she hopes to parlay her unique baseball talent into an education at a university, or possibly another opportunity abroad.
When speaking about her impressive feat, Mayeaux remarked, "I think there plenty of girls behind me, that want to take the same path as me, and I hope they make it." Regardless of how Mayeaux's career shakes out, her placement on the list, and her impressive skills and dedication, are an inspiration and a home run for young female athletes everywhere.