From Excelle Sports
By Kayla Lombardo
Excelle Sports’ “Faces of the Game” series—in conjunction with Wilson Sporting Goods—gives an inside look into the stories of athletes beyond the field of play.
Jessica Mendoza looks into the lens of a camera comparably to how she used to look into the eyes of an opposing pitcher—with poise and confidence. Now, instead of her self-assured stare coming from the left-handed batter’s box on the softball diamond, it occurs from behind the microphone as a member of ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball broadcast team.
For the two-time Olympic medalist—who last year became the first woman in the broadcast booth for a Major League Baseball game on ESPN—her approach to broadcasting isn’t so different from her former approach to playing softball. The 35-year-old still relies on her preparation and obsession with details in order to stand out.
“The ways I approach watching pitchers and studying batters now, it’s how I did when I was playing,” Mendoza told Excelle Sports in a phone interview just ahead of her SportsCenter assignment for Game 1 of the World Series in Cleveland. “I would watch opposing pitchers and look for their weaknesses, strengths, what they liked to go to. I now find myself obsessed with video footage and wanting to watch it, and a lot of that has to do with how I played and how I was trained.”