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For the first time, a woman will be the voice of an MLB team as Oakland A’s hire Jenny Cavnar for the play-by-play call

Jenny Cavnar is the new play-by-play announcer for the Oakland A’s, replacing longtime announcer Glen Kuiper who was fired after using a racist slur on live TV last year.  

Cavnar becomes “the first female primary play-by-play voice in Major League Baseball history” and “will call a majority of A’s games,” NBC Sports California announced Tuesday.  (NBCUniversal is the parent company of NBC Sports California and NBC News.) 

“Excited for the next chapter!! Let’s go!” Cavnar tweeted Tuesday.

Cavnar was the first woman in a quarter-century to call TV play-by-play for an MLB game when she did so in 2018, NBC Sports California said in a statement. In 2015, she became the first woman to provide analysis for a National League series on radio.

She’s spent the past 12 years as the backup play-by-play announcer, pregame and postgame host and reporter for regional TV coverage of the Colorado Rockies, and previously covered the San Diego Padres for nearly five years as reporter and anchor, the network said. She’s also covered the National Hockey League and college basketball.

“It is a dream come true to join the broadcast team for the Oakland A’s and their rich baseball history,” said Cavnar, a five-time Emmy winner.

“Growing up the daughter of a baseball coach, I have loved the game from a young age, along with the stories, history and relationships the game provides,” she continued. “I’m excited to start my 18th season as a major league broadcaster with my good friend, Dallas Braden, and share our experiences with the loyal fans of the Athletics as we go on this ride together.”

Braden, her new broadcast booth partner, welcomed her with a video message on X saying: “I could not be more honored to sit next to the first woman in baseball history to assume the role as play by play announcer. It’s a great day for baseball. It’s a great day for women in baseball.” 

Matt Murphy, president and general manager of NBC Sports California and NBC Sports Bay Area, called Cavnar “a groundbreaking professional who’s earned the admiration of fans and her peers throughout her career.”

“We’re very excited for her to join our excellent team and lead our A’s coverage starting this season,” he added.

Glen Kuiper, who had called the A’s games for 20 seasons, didn’t leave on good terms. 

He was suspended after using the n-word during discussion about his visit to the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum on a May 5 pregame broadcast of a game against the Kansas City Royals.

In a statement last year, Kuiper said he had visited the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City, Mo., to learn about the “difficulties and social barriers African American players endured in MLB’s early years.”

“In my excitement, I rushed through the word ‘negro’ resulting in my very unfortunate mispronunciation,” he said.

Kuiper issued a public apology for the “terrible but honest mispronunciation” and stressed “racism is in no way a part of me.”

Kuiper had expressed frustration over his termination, saying: “I wish the Oakland A’s and NBC Sports would have taken into consideration my 20-year career, my solid reputation, integrity and character, but in this current environment traits like integrity and character are no longer considered.”

Cavnar joins a small-but-growing group of women doing play-by-play in major pro sports.

In 2021, Lisa Byington became the first full-time play-by-play announcer for a major men’s professional sports team — the NBA’s Milwaukee Bucks. That same year, Kate Scott became the second for NBC Sports Philadelphia covering the Philadelphia 76ers.

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