Geib makes female official scorer history

June 3rd, 2021

DENVER -- Students at Willow Elementary already thought their teacher, Jillian Geib, was cool. Now there is historic evidence.

Geib served as the official scorer in the Rockies’ 3-2, 11-inning victory over the Rangers on Tuesday night. She is believed to be the fourth female official scorer in MLB history, and the first since Marie-Claude Pelland served in the role with the Blue Jays from 2015-17.

The first known female official scorer was Elisa Green Williams in the 1800s, although her gender was kept secret. The second was Susan Fornoff in San Francisco and Oakland from 1990-93. Fornoff is now a public speaker and author who lives in Denver.

Geib, 29, has worked with MLB since 2012, having started by gathering tracking information in the development of Statcast, before moving on to on-field timing; eventually she transitioned into pitch-by-pitch data entry for Gameday. She worked in Boston, in Chicago (for both Cubs and White Sox games) and at Coors Field. After her achievement, which was chronicled during AT&T SportsNet Rocky Mountain’s telecast, her icebreaker story at back-to-school day is at a new level.

“They love it,” said Geib, who previously taught fifth grade students, but transitioned to fourth grade during these modified times. “Every year, that’s pretty much what I lead with when I introduce myself to them because it just automatically creates some buy-in. They’re like, ‘She’s kind of cool.’”

The achievement may be newsy, at least now. But Geib’s story is a common one for men and women alike, the difference being that Geib has grabbed an opportunity that should not have ever been strictly a male domain. And indications are that opportunities will be there for all in the future.

“I won’t be the last,” Geib said.

Geib, like her older sister, Courtney, grew up playing baseball in a Southeast Denver league, before having to transition to softball.

Her playing days ended at George Washington High School in Denver, but she held her sports interest at Boston University. Her original dream was to become a television sideline reporter and she interned with ROOT SPORTS. However, her way of following sports led her in a different direction.

“As soon as I got into the stats side, I was like, ‘Well, I think I might be taken more seriously for my knowledge,'” Geib said. “I’m not one of those people who memorizes stats, who knows every stat of every player known to man. Honestly, I’m horrible at that. But analyzing in-game situations has always been really fascinating to me.”

One of the official scorers at Coors Field stepped down before this season, and Geib's experience made her a logical choice. She spent the early part of the season sitting beside Dave Einspahr, the regular scorer, while continuing her duties. Like Einspahr, Geib has her methods color-coded. It all came together Tuesday, when she had an umpire hit by a batted ball in her first inning and the winning run scored by wild pitch in her last inning.

Tyler Barton, MLB senior manager of data operations, is planning offseason training for official scorers -- an “OS University” -- and is looking at training a diverse group of hopefuls. 

ALS awareness day

Wednesday marked the inaugural Lou Gehrig Day throughout MLB. Gehrig joined Jackie Robinson and Roberto Clemente as the only players whose legacies are celebrated annually with a league-wide day.

The day is close to the hearts of the Rockies. Outfielder Sam Hilliard, currently at Triple-A Albuquerque, has been vocal and tireless in raising awareness because of his father, Jim Hilliard, who is an ALS patient. His mother, Tamara Hext Hilliard, is the driving force behind Team Hilliard, which raises awareness and funds for research.

Sam Hilliard honored the day with a heartfelt Instagram post:

Tamara Hilliard joined Jenny Cavnar of AT&T SportsNet for an interview that was featured on Wednesday’s pregame show and will be repeated on the network’s Rockies anthology show, “The Club.”

Before Wednesday’s game, the Rockies honored on the field one of their fans, Bill Martin, a 14-year Colorado resident originally from El Paso, Texas, who is an ALS patient. Martin was diagnosed in June 2016, and has spent the last five years advocating for himself and others as a board member for the Rocky Mountain ALS Association.