July 24- 30 marks Women in Baseball Week, an annual event recognizing the value, diversity, and cultural significance of having women in this sport. Women have made notable advances across men’s sports for decades and they are still continuing to bridge the gap.
Here is a look at some of the few women in the White Sox organization who have and who still are breaking those barriers.
Grace Guerrero Zwit – First woman in White Sox baseball operations (1982-2022)
In 1982, the White Sox welcomed Grace Guerrero Zwit, the first woman to ever work in the organization’s baseball operations department. Starting out as Dave Dombrowski’s assistant in the player development and scouting departments, she worked on budgets for the minor league teams, wrote international prospect contracts, and created educational opportunities for players in the Dominican Republic.
Later in 1995, Zwit’s talent and dedication to the team were noticed by Ken Williams, who quickly made her assistant director of scouting and minor league operations. From there, she ascended to director of minor league operations in 2000 and then continued her career as senior director of minor league operations in 2008.
Zwit decided to step aside from her position at the end of 2021 as she plans to ease into retirement with 40 years under her belt. As a highly respected, invaluable member of the White Sox organization, her confidence and assertiveness has only paved the way for more women to pursue baseball down the road.
Jasmine Dunston – Director of Minor League operations (2021-present)
It was only fitting that another woman took Zwit’s place. Just before the start of the 2022 season, Jasmine Dunston stepped in as the organization’s new director of minor league operations.
She came to the Sox with immense experience in the sports world, playing softball at Tennessee State, holding a master’s degree in sports administration from Valparaiso University, and a Juris Doctorate in Sports Law from John F. Kennedy University.
Her resume is packed to the brim with experience like interning for the NFL Branch of All Pro Sports & Entertainment, working for the Las Vegas Raiders as a law clerk, and most previously as a specialist in the Cincinnati Reds player development department.
Currently the only active woman holding a high position with the White Sox, Dunston has shown that women certainly still belong in baseball and the organization needs a larger women representation.
Kim Ng – MLB’s first woman GM & former White Sox baseball operations employee (1995-1997)
Before becoming the first-ever woman to serve as a general manager for the Miami Marlins, Kim Ng got her foot in the baseball door when she took a baseball operations internship with the White Sox in 1990. In 1991, she was hired full-time and continued to climb the ladder of multiple positions within the organization. Under General Manager Ron Schueler, Ng became assistant director of baseball operations in 1995. In this position, she became the youngest person, and the first woman, to present a salary arbitration case in MLB.
A goal she worked for throughout her entire career – becoming the first female GM of a team in any professional male sport – may not have been possible if the White Sox had never given her a chance.
Mary Shane- First woman broadcaster (1976-1977)
Mary Shane made history with the White Sox when she became the first woman to ever be hired as an MLB broadcaster. In 1976, while working in the Brewers press box at a White Sox-Brewers game, Harry Caray was impressed to see a woman working and invited her to try play-by-play with him. With incredible baseball knowledge and a hard work ethic, Caray insisted on Shane coming back the next game and continued to have her on air when the Sox would visit the Brewers.
Later in 1977, the White Sox hired her full-time to join the broadcast team alongside Caray, Lorn Brown, and Jimmy Piersall. Shane’s time on air didn’t last a full year, as there was a lot of prejudice at this time around women covering sports.
Although she was unfairly cut short of this career, she certainly started to blaze a trail for the women in broadcast today. She went on to become the first female reporter to regularly cover the Boston Celtics.
While women continue to struggle to achieve high positions in baseball, these White Sox pioneers have worked incredibly hard to set an example for the future. Hopefully, we can eventually see not only more women working for the White Sox but in the major leagues as a whole.
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