Trailblazer Series enters seventh year with star-studded staff

April 13th, 2024

The annual Trailblazer Series, an initiative by Major League Baseball aimed at fostering youth girls' baseball development, enters its seventh year with a two-day event scheduled for Sunday and Monday. Girls ages 11-13 will compete and develop their skills over the two days of competition.

The event will feature more than 90 participants from 23 states, the District of Columbia and three Canadian provinces. With players coming from a diverse range of backgrounds and home cities, the series is sure to provide excitement for everyone involved.

This unique development opportunity, which coincides with Jackie Robinson Day on Monday, will take place at the Jackie Robinson Training Complex in Vero Beach, Fla. Various activities, both on and off the field, are planned to celebrate Robinson’s enduring legacy and the triumphs of young girls who look up to him and the game for which he was a trailblazer.

The event has been held in conjunction with Jackie Robinson Day since it launched in 2017. Sonya Pankey, the first grandchild of Jackie and Rachel Robinson, will be in attendance to observe and speak to the young athletes.

The off-field activities include panel discussions featuring several accomplished women in baseball. Two are players from the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League (AAGPBL) that inspired the movie “A League of Their Own”: Maybelle Blair and Jeneane Lesko.

Guest coaches Kelsie Whitmore, who in 2022 became the first woman to appear in the starting lineup in an Atlantic League game (for the Staten Island FerryHawks), and Mo'ne Davis, who in 2014 became the first girl to earn a win and throw a shutout in the Little League World Series, will also join the panel.

Most notably on the coaching side, Veronica Alvarez will make her debut as MLB's first Girls Baseball Ambassador. Alvarez, a member of the United States women's national baseball team which won a gold medal at the 2015 Pan American Games, is one of the most recognizable names in women’s baseball.

Since 2017, Alvarez has been actively involved in supporting MLB's youth programming initiatives in partnership with USA Baseball.

The 2024 Trailblazer Series boasts a full roster of dedicated coaches committed to advancing girls' and women's baseball.

The event will also include mentorship opportunities with representatives from the International Women's Baseball Center. MLB and the Jackie Robinson Training Complex also will host a special PLAY BALL event in Jackie’s honor for local youth from the Indian River County area on Saturday.

Since 2017, USA Baseball and Major League Baseball have partnered to bring focus to a new baseball tournament for girls, specially built around Jackie Robinson Day in celebration of baseball’s quintessential trailblazer. The objective of the event is to provide playing, development and educational opportunities to girls who play baseball.