Maggie Foxx had no idea some random web surfing would lead to the opportunity of a lifetime, but that’s how she ended up at Dodger Stadium on Friday night.
Foxx, a 13-year-old Bedford resident, said she discovered the USA Baseball/MLB Trailblazer Series about a year ago when she clicked on a link that advertised baseball opportunities for girls. She applied and was one of 96 girls ages 11-13 selected to participate in the three-day event, which began last Thursday at the MLB Youth Academy in Compton, Calif. The Trailblazer Series, which was held in conjunction with Jackie Robinson Weekend, featured training, lectures and games.
“Every minute of the day was filled with speakers or playing time or developmental instruction,” said Foxx’s mother, Jennifer, who accompanied her daughter on the trip. “Most of the girls have stories that are similar. Their passion is for baseball, and they’re typically the only girl on a team full of males.”
Kim Ng, the highest-ranking woman in Major League Baseball, gave the introductory speech Thursday. Ng, who is MLB’s senior vice president of baseball and softball development, urged the girls to pursue their passion.
Foxx, who is primarily a catcher, was one of six girls honored on the field at Dodger Stadium before Friday night’s game against Milwaukee. The six girls were recognized for the contributions they made to their team during Friday’s games.
All of the girls had a chance to take pictures near the Jackie Robinson statue that is located near the stadium’s left-field entrance. Robinson, the first African American to play Major League Baseball in the modern era, is known as baseball’s original trailblazer.
“Dodger Stadium was awesome,” Foxx said. “The best part of the trip was all of the coaching I got and the friends I made. It was pretty easy to get to know people and get friendly.”
The Trailblazer Series, which is in its third year, attracted players from across the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. Foxx became the first girl from New Hampshire to participate in the event.
Foxx played for the Bedford Little League all-star team last summer and led her Manchester Pony League team in hitting last year. She’s been playing baseball since she was 4.
Although she also plays softball, Foxx said she prefers baseball.
“It’s more of a mental game,” she said. “There are so many more opportunities in baseball than in softball. It’s the best game in the world.”
Foxx is currently playing on five teams (two softball and three baseball), including the Boston Slammers, a Boston-based all-girls baseball team. She said she has no plans to give up baseball for softball.
“Some of her teammates weren’t selected (for the Trailblazer Series),” Jennifer said. “There were about 100 girls selected and there are probably at least another 100 girls at that age level who are very good. Those girls could easily be the future for women in baseball.”