A unique Major League Baseball event, one that caters to young women involved in the sport, will see a local participant taking part. Sarah Loehr, 12, will be heading to Vero Beach, Florida April 13-17th for a new baseball experience for girls built around Jackie Robinson Day in celebration of baseball’s quintessential “trailblazer”. 

The objective of the Trailblazer Series is to provide developmental coaching, guest speakers, playing time, and educational opportunities for girls who have had involvement in baseball whether they played with boys, were on all-girls teams, or have even switched over to softball from baseball. Participants will have the opportunity to learn from current and former members of the USA Baseball Women's National Team, baseball industry professionals, and others in the sports industry. Past speakers have included professional players, national team players, and even Olympic softball player Jennie Finch. 

Girls 11-13 years of age are eligible and athletes from across North America were able to put their name forth through an application advertised on the internet and various social media platforms including those in Saskatchewan. Ninety-six female players from across North America will attend. In its first incarnation five years ago, only one girl from all of Canada was selected; another year there were five. Trailblazer participants will stay at the Jackie Robinson Training Complex in Vero Beach with all airfare, accommodations, meals, uniforms, and playing equipment provided free of cost for attendees.

“This is a bit of a lottery win,” Brent Loehr, Sarah’s dad, says. “The event is not something where players are scouted for or that kind of thing. You throw your hat in the ring and hope for the best. There are only a few pockets of all-girls baseball in the entire province so opportunities in Saskatchewan are actually quite limited.”

After being the only girl playing baseball on her Muenster team for years, Sarah switched over to softball last year to be with peers. The Loehr’s are hoping that the Trailblazer Series experience and the focus it brings to girls’ baseball will result in a boom. 

“Years ago, I made it known that I would try to start and build all-girls baseball in our area,” says Brent Loehr. “The interest just wasn’t there. This is a great opportunity for her to be involved with girls who are also interested in the sport.”

Sarah is excited about the opportunity as she heads into a new season this spring.

“Baseball has been around me my whole life and I love it. It will be cool to be involved with something in baseball that is entirely all-girls,” she explains.

A multi-sport athlete at Muenster school, Sarah participated in cross-country, soccer, volleyball, and curling this year and also plans to check out badminton and track-and-field this spring. The Gr. 7 student also plays and loves hockey. “I am pumped to be able to head to Florida for baseball. I have never been there before and can’t wait to learn everything they have planned. I am grateful for the opportunity,” Sarah says. 

Information on the Jackie Robinson Training Complex in Vero Beach Florida can be found at mlb.com/robinson-training-complex.