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Jessica Mendoza
ESPN's Jessica Mendoza chats with Bryce Harper on Gatorade All-Star Workout Day. (28377246300).jpg
Mendoza (left) with Bryce Harper in 2016
Personal information
Full name Jessica Ofelia Mendoza
Born November 11, 1980 (1980-11-11) (age 40)
Camarillo, California, United States
Height 5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)
Spouse(s)
Adam Burks (m. 2006)
Sport
Country USA
Sport Softball
Position Outfielder
College team Stanford University

Jessica Ofelia Mendoza (born November 11, 1980) is an American current sports broadcaster for ESPN and former collegiate 4-time First Team All-American, two-time Olympic medalist, and retired professional All-Star softball outfielder, originally from Camarillo, California. Mendoza played from 1999 to 2002 at Stanford and was a member of the United States women's national softball team from 2004 to 2010. She won a gold medal at the 2004 Olympics in Athens and a silver medal at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. She played professionally in National Pro Fastpitch and was named 2011 Player of the Year and currently ranks in the top 10 for career batting average and slugging percentage. She was an analyst on ESPN's Sunday Night Baseball from 2016 to 2019. She was dropped from the Sunday Night Baseball broadcast after the 2019 season but remains an ESPN baseball analyst. Mendoza was recently named by the fans and experts to the Greatest College Softball Team as an outfielder, one of only three to achieve the honor.

High school

Mendoza, a graduate of Adolfo Camarillo High School, was named the Los Angeles Times Player of the Year in 1998. During her junior and senior years, she was named Camarillo High School's Female Athlete of the Year. Mendoza was also a member of the high school basketball team and was the team MVP in her junior and senior years.

Stanford Cardinal

Mendoza began her career as a 1999 First Team All-American and All-Pac-10 honoree. Included with her recognition, she was named Pac-12 Newcomer of the Year. She broke the Cardinal records for season batting average and RBI totals while ranking top-10 for her hits.

On March 6, 1999, in defeating Illinois State, Mendoza had a single-game career high four hits off pitchers Corey Harris, Tammy Millian and Jamie Bagnall. Later that month, for the week of March 8, she was named National Fastpitch Coaches Association Player of the Week after hitting .631 (12/19) with 11 RBIs, 4 home runs, a triple and two doubles for a slugging percentage of 1.473.

The sophomore's season saw her again earn First Team citations for the NCAA Division I and the Pac-10. She added conference Player of the Year to her collection and broke her own record for batting average with a then-school and career-best .474, which also led the NCAA. She also claimed new records for hits, home runs, doubles, slugging, and stolen bases, which still rank top 10 for a season at Stanford.

From February 29 through March 22, 2000, Mendoza went on a school-record 19-consecutive-game hit streak. She batted .561 (32/57) to accompany four home runs and 15 RBIs, striking out just once with a slugging of .842.

Mendoza continued her success for the Cardinal with her third All-American and All-Pac-10 citations. She posted top-10 season records in virtually every category, still currently ranking second in single-season home runs and stolen bases.

Mendoza helped lead Stanford to their first-ever Women's College World Series appearance in 2001. The Cardinal were ousted on May 27 by the Arizona Wildcats despite wins over California Golden Bears and LSU Tigers. Mendoza was named to the All-Tournament Team for hitting .250 with an RBI and a double.

For her final season, Mendoza earned First Team citations for both conference and the NCAA. With her fourth straight honor from the NCAA, Mendoza joined elite company as only the fifth player to accomplish the feat then. That year she also tied her home run record and ranked top-10 in almost every other category.

The week of March 4, she was named NFCA's Player of the Week for a third time. She had hit .647 (11/17) with a home run, five doubles, and 1.117 slugging. Later that season, on May 8 with a 10–2 victory over the San Jose State Spartans, Mendoza drove in a career best six RBIs, four coming off her 50th career home-run swing with Carol Forbes pitching.

Mendoza currently holds the career records in average, hits, home runs, slugging, and runs. Her career doubles (ranked 7th in the NCAA all-time), triples, RBIs and walks are still top-10 records. She was also named Pac-10 Player of the Week three times, a top 25 finalist for USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year, and the Speedline Invitational Tournament MVP. Mendoza graduated from Stanford with a Master's Degree in Social Sciences and Education.

Team USA

In 2004, Mendoza was a starting outfielder for Team USA at 2004 Athens Olympic Games. Prior to the tournament, Mendoza hit .380 on the "Aiming For Athens" tour with 42 RBIs and 10 home runs. On August 14, Mendoza had two hits and two RBIs with a triple vs. Italy. She repeated her performance on August 19 against host Greece, with a double in that game. Team USA won the gold medal on August 23, though Mendoza was shut out by Australia. Overall, she went 5/20 (.250) scoring five times herself and hitting in 5 RBIs with a .400 slugging.

In 2008, Mendoza was again an outfielder for Team USA and led in almost every category on the "Bound 4 Beijing" Tour. She hit .495 with 107 RBIs and a .971 slugging. At the Beijing Olympic Games, she drove in 4 RBIs vs. Chinese Taipei on August 14. In the finale, Mendoza was again shut out and her team won the silver medal, losing to Japan on August 21.

In addition, straight out of college, Mendoza went directly onto the US team. In 2003 and 2007, she was a gold medalist at the Pan American Games. She also won the silver medal at both the World Cup and Japan Cup. In 2006, Jessica was named the USA Softball "Female Athlete of the Year." She played for Team USA in the World Cup again in 2007, this time bringing home that gold medal. She went 11/18 with a double, three home runs, and 16 RBIs. Mendoza won the ISF Women's World Championship, hitting .500 with 5 home runs and 16 RBIs. In 2008, she was named to the Canada Cup All-Star Team. Mendoza declined an invitation to play for the US in 2011 to focus on National Pro Fastpitch.

National Pro Fastpitch

Mendoza joined the National Pro Fastpitch in 2005 with the Arizona Heat. She hit a league best (though in limited playing time) .491 her rookie year. After returning from maternity leave and a role with Team USA, Mendoza signed with the USSSA Pride. In her two seasons with the Pride, Mendoza hit .284 and .377, respectively. The same two years, her teams made the Cowles Cup championship, winning the title in 2010. Mendoza was shut out against the Chicago Bandits' trio of Kristina Thorson, Nikki Nemitz, and Jessica Sallinger. In the other finale, Mendoza was 2/4 with a double off Monica Abbott in a rematch with the Bandits, who ultimately won 10–3 on August 21. Once again, Mendoza and the Pride made the Cowles Cup Championship but lost to the Chicago Bandits. Mendoza was shut out but walked twice.

Broadcasting career

Mendoza works for ESPN and was a color analyst on Sunday Night Baseball telecasts. She also is an analyst for the Women's College World Series and has worked as a sideline reporter for ESPN College Football coverage.

On June 30, 2014, Mendoza began working on ESPN's Baseball Tonight. She appears on the Monday editions of the show.

On June 16, 2015, Mendoza became the first female broadcaster in the booth for ESPN's College World Series coverage with Karl Ravech and Kyle Peterson. On August 24, Mendoza was the first female commentator for a Major League Baseball game in the history of ESPN, during a game between the St. Louis Cardinals and the Arizona Diamondbacks. Six days later, Mendoza filled in for suspended color commentator Curt Schilling for the Cubs–Dodgers game on Sunday Night Baseball. Cubs pitcher Jake Arrieta pitched a no-hitter in the game. John Kruk, Dan Shulman and Mendoza called the 2015 American League Wild Card Game on October 6, and Mendoza became the first female commentator in MLB postseason TV history.

On January 13, 2016, ESPN announced that Mendoza would join the Sunday Night Baseball broadcast team full-time, with Shulman and Aaron Boone. On October 6, 2017, Mendoza commentated the 2017 NLDS, her first MLB post-season series, on ESPN Radio with broadcast partner Dave Flemming.

On March 5, 2019, the New York Mets announced that Mendoza joined the club as a senior advisor to general manager Brodie Van Wagenen. This led to conflict of interest concerns, leading the Los Angeles Dodgers to block Mendoza from entering their clubhouse as a media member before Dodgers games broadcast by ESPN in the 2019 season. The Dodgers had done the same with David Ross, who worked in the Chicago Cubs organization while also commentating for ESPN.

On January 16, 2020, she created controversy when she criticized former Houston Astros pitcher Mike Fiers for admitting to stealing signs during the team's World Series title run in 2017. The controversy surrounded her decision to blame the whistleblower, as well as whether her simultaneous role with both the New York Mets and ESPN, subjected her to bias. Mendoza later backtracked and took to Twitter to clarify her comments. Amid concerns about a potential conflict of interest over her Mets role and the controversy of the Fiers comments, she later resigned from her role as Mets advisor and was dropped from Sunday Night Baseball, but signed a contract extension with ESPN on February 7, 2020, to remain a baseball analyst with the network.

In October 2020, she became the first female World Series analyst on any national broadcast platform; she was on ESPN's radio platform. In 2021, She is part of the broadcast team for NBC during the Tokyo 2020 Olympics

Personal life

A daughter of Karen and Gil Mendoza, Jessica has one brother, Walt, and two sisters, Elena and Alana. Her father played football for four years for Fresno State University. Mendoza is married to Adam Burks, with whom she has sons Caleb Ashton and Caden Adam. She is of Mexican descent.

Mendoza is a trustee and past-president of the Women's Sports Foundation. She is an athletic ambassador for Team Darfur and board member of the National Education Association.

Statistics

Stanford Cardinal

YEAR G AB R H BA RBI HR 3B 2B TB SLG BB SO SB SBA
1999 62 195 38 81 .415 57 9 2 13 125 .641 12 22 6 8
2000 63 198 57 94 .474 41 13 1 20 155 .783 15 13 20 25
2001 71 205 70 83 .405 46 14 3 20 151 .736 32 23 31 35
2002 63 188 65 69 .367 44 14 3 17 134 .713 31 22 29 31
TOTALS 259 786 230 327 .416 188 50 9 70 565 .719 90 80 86 99

Team USA

YEAR AB R H BA RBI HR 3B 2B TB SLG BB SO SB SBA
2004 149 49 54 .362 47 10 7 8 106 .711 11 25 5 6
2008 230 99 110 .478 116 25 5 27 222 .965 26 26 8 10
TOTALS 379 148 164 .432 163 35 12 35 328 .865 37 51 13 16

NPF Arizona Heat & USSSA Pride

YEAR AB R H BA RBI HR 3B 2B TB SLG BB SO SB
2005 59 23 29 .491 28 8 0 5 0 .983 11 4 10
2010 130 22 37 .284 28 7 1 8 68 .523 14 38 4
2011 130 39 49 .377 35 10 1 5 86 .661 17 26 11
2012 95 30 32 .337 39 9 2 2 65 .684 15 27 9
TOTALS 414 114 147 .355 130 34 4 20 277 .669 57 95 34

Links

  • NCAA Division I softball career .400 batting average list
  • NCAA Division I softball career 50 home runs list
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