Marysol Castro ’00JRN is used to being the only woman at the baseball diamond. Growing up in the shadow of Yankee Stadium, she remembers joining the neighborhood boys in their backyard stickball games. “I got plenty of dirty looks. But I found that if I worked hard enough, I could always compete,” she says. “That sort of became the story of my life.”
Now Castro is making history in another stadium across town as the New York Mets’ public-address announcer. She is the organization’s first female announcer and the first Latina announcer in Major League Baseball. “It feels unbelievable that I’m the first,” she says. “But I’m grateful to the Mets for playing catch-up.”
Though Castro grew up in a sports-loving family, she never considered athletics as a career. “I really wanted to be the first Puerto Rican senator,” she says. Instead, after graduating from Wesleyan University, she taught English at a Brooklyn prep school and then pivoted to journalism. Castro intended to be a newspaper reporter, but Columbia gave her a passion for broadcasting and helped launch a twenty-year career in television.
Castro worked in local news in New York City and then became a traffic and weather reporter for ABC’s Good Morning America and CBS’s The Early Show. “Traffic and weather reporting wasn’t my first choice, but it taught me how to tell stories succinctly and clearly,” she says. “I use that every day from the booth.”
Castro says that her role with the Mets feels particularly important because of how prominent baseball is in the Latino community. “Almost a third of all Major League Baseball players are Latino, and Latino viewing audiences are at an all-time high,” Castro says. “It had become clear to the Mets that their organization didn’t reflect the diversity of the players or the fans.”
Castro also hopes that her presence will inspire female fans to pursue more prominent positions in the community, whether in sports or otherwise. “In every job I’ve had, I felt like I was the only Latina for miles,” she says. “I hope being in a visible position like this will help little girls think outside the box.”
This article appears in the Summer 2019 print edition of Columbia Magazine with the title "She's On First."