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MLB's first all-female on-air crew will call next week's Orioles–Rays game

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A team of five women will make history next week as the MLB's first all-female on-air crew when they call the Tampa Bay Rays' game against the Baltimore Orioles on July 20.

Melanie Newman has been the Orioles' play-by-play announcer since February 2020, and she is one of only five women to call play-by-play in the MLB. She will continue breaking barriers as the play-by-play voice for the all-female crew. Sarah Langs, who is an analyst and writer for MLB.com, will be alongside Newman as the in-booth analyst.

Alanna Rizzo, a contributor on the MLB Network show High Heat, will serve as the on-field reporter. She brings plenty of experience to the team, having previously spent seven seasons as a reporter and host for the Los Angeles Dodgers on SportsNet LA. The pre- and post-game shows will be anchored by Heidi Watney and Lauren Gardner, who are both regular hosts and reporters for MLB Network.

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“I’ve always had a male play-by-play voice in my ear during every game I’ve ever done," Rizzo told The New York Times. "To do a game where those voices are Melanie and Sarah, that will be a unique feeling and a unique perspective of the game. It’s exciting to be a part of something like this.”

Noah Garden, the MLB’s chief revenue officer, told The Times that the plan is to make all-female booths a more regular feature of games and to add diversity of backgrounds and women of color. He told The Times that Rizzo, who is of Cuban descent, brings diversity to the upcoming broadcast.

The NHL similarly made history last March when it had two all-female broadcast crews for games on International Women's Day. The crews were entirely women both on-camera and behind the scenes, which will not necessarily be the case for the upcoming MLB game. In 2018, the NFL and MLS both aired games will all-female on-air teams.

Contact Emily Adams at eaadams@gannett.com or on Twitter @eaadams6.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: MLB to have its first all-female on-air crew for Orioles vs. Rays