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Former women's national player coaches A's

Alvarez invited to work with catchers during Spring Training
@JaneMLB
March 5, 2019

MESA, Ariz. -- The A’s have a new coach in camp. Her name is Veronica Alvarez, and she brings an impressive resume to the table. The Miami native has been playing ball from a young age, switching over to softball “like a lot of us have to do because that’s

MESA, Ariz. -- The A’s have a new coach in camp. Her name is Veronica Alvarez, and she brings an impressive resume to the table.

The Miami native has been playing ball from a young age, switching over to softball “like a lot of us have to do because that’s the opportunity,” she said. But Alvarez, who earned a softball scholarship at Villanova, found her way back to baseball in 2008, joining the U.S. women’s national baseball team.

Alvarez caught for the national team for eight seasons and rejoined the squad as an assistant coach in 2018.

“Ever since I stopped playing, I knew I wanted to go all in to coaching,” Alvarez said, “so I’ve pretty much taken every opportunity possible.”

More keep coming, thanks to Major League Baseball’s ongoing commitment to attract more young people to the game, while also sending a message that baseball is a game for everyone. She’s worked on staff for several MLB-supported baseball tournaments for girls, including the Trailblazer Series.

“Catching is catching no matter if you’re a woman or a man,” said Alvarez, who also works as a firefighter paramedic in Hollywood, Fla. “Catching is what I’m passionate about. If you ask me about what I know most about in my life, it’s catching. I can talk about that for hours and hours on end.”

Through her connections with MLB, Alvarez connected with A’s general manager David Forst, who invited her to work with the organization’s Minor Leaguers as a special guest instructor for several weeks this spring. She will work extensively with the catchers and throw batting practice on occasion, as she did Tuesday.

“It’s incredible,” Alvarez said. “Every opportunity I get with baseball I value so much, but this being the Minor Leagues and Major Leagues, it’s obviously the top of the game, so being around so many baseball-minded people is invaluable to me. I’ve just learned so much, and I love being around that environment where I can constantly ask questions and everyone is feeding off of each other.

“This organization has been beyond incredible. I can’t even put words to describe it. It’s been top of the line the way they’ve treated me and coming into camp, same thing. There really hasn’t been an eyelash batted at me, even though I expect that because I am someone that’s different. But I think they appreciate that I’m just a baseball person.”

Jane Lee has covered the A's for MLB.com since 2010. Follow her on Twitter @JaneMLB.