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   First American Female Baseball Player to Attend Arizona Winter League
 
   Published on: January 4, 2010
 
Who: Tiffany Brooks, two-time silver medalist in women's international baseball play in Hong Kong, China; veteran baseball player; former pro softball player

What: First American female to attend Independent pro baseball instructional league
When and Where: Jan. 24-Feb. 28, 2010, Yuma, Arizona

Tiffany Brooks, a two-time silver medalist in women's international play in Hong Kong, veteran baseball player, and native of Spokane, Washington will soon be the first American woman to take part in the Arizona Winter League (AWL), a professional-level instructional baseball league to be held in Yuma, Arizona from January 24, 2010 through February 28, 2010. Brooks hopes to win a professional contract, which would make her only the second female pro ballplayer in Independent League Professional Baseball since Ila Borders blazed the way back in the late 1990's.

Brooks, a 6' right handed pitcher (RHP) – who throws six different pitches – and also plays 1B, hopes to show that she and other female baseball players in the world can compete at a professional level. Says Brooks, “ I've been playing since I was four years old when I started tee-ball, and have had a lifelong dream to play professional baseball. I hope I can prove myself and win a contract, but no matter what, I hope that my being at the Arizona Winter League will help to show other girls and women that they CAN realistically pursue playing pro baseball, and if they work hard, they can make their own dreams come true.”

Brooks will be drafted to one of eight teams and will join approximately 170 other ballplayers , primarily experienced minor leaguers, college players overlooked in the draft last summer, and a few major league experienced players. Brooks will play about 20 games over 35 days, following a short “Spring Training.” The league focuses on showcasing players to give them an opportunity to sign a pro contract -- over 120 have done so in the last three seasons. Two AWL pitchers from 2007 have already made the big leagues -- San Francisco Giant reliever Sergio Romo, and Toronto Blue Jays starter Scott Richmond, and many major league clubs attend the AWL to scout talent. The Baltimore Orioles, Los Angeles Dodgers, San Francisco Giants, Toronto Blue Jays, Philadelphia Phillies, and Kansas City Royals have all signed AWL players along with every major independent league in the U.S., the Mexican minor leagues, the Italian League, and the Dutch League. All the instructors and managers in the league are experienced major league players, managers, or minor league coaches and include former MLB All-Stars and players such as Mike Marshall, Garry Templeton, Ozzie Virgil, Jr, Cory Snyder, Les Lancaster, Boots Day, Brent Bowers, and Tim Johnson (who was also an MLB manager with Toronto).

Brooks will room with Eri Yoshida, who played for the Kobe 9 Cruise last year as the first female professional baseball player in Japan's Independent Leagues. Brooks said she is looking forward to having Eri as a roommate, and is excited about the cultural exchanges she hopes will occur. Said Brooks, “I'm always excited to see women's presence expanding in baseball, and I'm very pleased Eri and I will be helping to pave the way for the global future of women and girls in baseball.”
 
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