'Trailblazer Series,' the annual girls baseball development experience, set for April 13-16 in Vero Beach, FL

Jackie Robinson Training Complex To Host Special Event Held To Build Talent Pool of Female Baseball Athletes During Weekend Tied to Jackie Robinson Day; Mo’ne Davis, Kelsie Whitmore, Veronica Alvarez, Ila Borders, Rachelle Henley and Bianca Smith Will Be Among Instructors Alongside Women’s National Team Members

March 27th, 2023

Major League Baseball’s effort to diversify the game for girls and women continues with the ‘Trailblazer Series,’ the annual girls baseball development experience held in celebration of Jackie Robinson Day. The three-day event will feature opportunities for girls, ages 11-13 to compete and develop their skills with peers. Participants taking part in the event span across 21 states, D.C., and Canadian provinces, including Ontario, New Brunswick, and British Columbia. The young athletes will look to improve their baseball skills by taking part in the weekend-long development experience at the Jackie Robinson Training Complex in Vero Beach, FL.

Opportunities for development, both on and off the field are set to include panel discussions featuring former professional baseball players from the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League (AAGPBL), Jeneane Lesko and Maybelle Blair, and will feature instruction from notable women baseball athletes, including Mo’ne Davis, Veronica Alvarez, Kelsie Whitmore, Ila Borders, Rachelle Henley and Bianca Smith, as well as members of the Women’s National Team.  Full list of 2023 Trailblazer Series Coaches include the following:

  • Veronica Alvarez
  • Denae Benites
  • Ila Borders
  • Mo’ne Davis
  • Jade Gortarez
  • Tamara Holmes
  • Alex Hugo
  • Anna Kimbrell
  • Kylee Lahners
  • Meggie Meidlinger
  • Alex Ogelsby
  • Bianca Smith
  • Christin Sobeck
  • Robin Wallace
  • Kelsie Whitmore

The event will also host an intimate conversation with the first grandchild of Jackie & Rachel Robinson, Sonya Pankey.

“I am so honored to attend the Trailblazer Series for the first time this year. This is an amazing opportunity for young girls at pivotal ages in their athletic development and their growth as young women. It means so much to me to see events like this taking place to honor my grandfather’s legacy as a trailblazer in his own right,” said Pankey.

“To have the opportunity to honor and celebrate baseball’s quintessential trailblazer in Jackie Robinson is amazing. I am so excited for the new era of female trailblazers who will take part in this development event,” said Sarah Padove, Manager Baseball & Softball Development at Major League Baseball. “For most of these players, they are the only girls on their teams, so to be able to get together at an event for a group of girls on an international scale means so much to me. It’s an honor to be able to continue the Trailblazer Series tradition and have the opportunity to keep growing our sport for women and girls.”

The inaugural Trailblazer Series launched in 2017 as MLB’s first official girls baseball invitational program. The effort has since expanded into three elite-level programs that are aligned with development strategies for both softball and boys baseball, including the Breakthrough Series, the Elite Development Invitational and the MLB Grit: Girls Baseball ID Tour.