Trailblazer Series MVP wants to blaze trail for other girls in baseball

April 23rd, 2024

Izzie Dieter had one goal in mind as she entered her second year playing in the Trailblazer Series earlier this month: She was determined to do her best on and off the field.

Her effort shined throughout the event.

Dieter, 13, won the MLB Develops MVP Award presented by Chevrolet at the conclusion of the seventh Trailblazer Series. The two-day event, built around Jackie Robinson Day to provide playing and development opportunities to girls who play baseball, was held from April 14-15 at the Jackie Robinson Training Complex in Vero Beach, Fla.

“My favorite part of the weekend was probably winning MVP,” she said in an interview after receiving the award. “It’s a really big deal because I’ve been doing this for the past two years and I’ve always liked playing baseball. I’ve always had a love for the sport.”

The San Diego native previously participated in the 2023 Trailblazer Series, MLB GRIT and ID Tour to give her the opportunity to hone her skills as a ballplayer. Dieter was one of 96 players -- ages 11-13 -- that gathered to learn from some of the foremost women in the sport.

“I love coming out here,” she said. “I love being with my friends, reuniting with them and meeting new people and being with the coaches because they’re also legends.”

Izzie Dieter bats during the 2024 Trailblazer Series at the Jackie Robinson Training Complex.Jared Blais/MLB Photos via Getty Images

The coaching staff featured Veronica Alvarez, who made her debut as MLB’s first Girls Baseball Ambassador, and guest coaches -- including Kelsie Whitmore, the first woman to appear in the starting lineup in an Atlantic League game. Dieter soaked in the advice from the coaching staff not just on her technique or mechanics, but also on how to approach negativity as she follows her dreams. There is one message in particular that stuck out to her most.

“Never let someone say no to you when you try to do something,” Dieter recalled.

Izzie Dieter with her MVP trophy from the 2024 Trailblazer Series.Jared Blais/MLB Photos via Getty Images

Over the course of the weekend, Dieter developed in her three positions -- shortstop, second base and pitching -- and improved her at-bats. She slugged three homers over the course of the weekend, not counting the ones she hit during the home run derby in the skills competition held on Jackie Robinson Day.

Dieter is a trailblazer not just in baseball, but in basketball and flag football as well. Last year, she pitched a complete game with 14 strikeouts to help her 2023 Del Mar 12U All Stars team win the San Diego Little League Championship. They went on to place fifth in the SoCal State Tournament that same year. She currently plays for San Diego Elevate. In her last basketball game, Dieter scored 38 points against a boys team and she is also the quarterback for her boys flag football team. Off the field, Dieter works with No Place for Hate -- an organization which creates anti-bias programs to combat bullying.

“To be a trailblazer along with all these other girls really means a lot to me,” she said. “I can encourage other people to play baseball, other girls to play baseball and encourage them to do whatever they can if they put their mind to it and ignore all the hate.”