St. Mary’s College of Maryland President Tuajuanda C. Jordan presented the 2017 President’s Trailblazer Award Saturday April 8 to the first female to play NCAA men’s baseball.
Julie Croteau ’93 achieved this notable first, that received national attention, when she made the St. Mary’s College of Maryland’s Division III team as a freshman.
It’s historical college moments like Croteau’s that inspired President Jordan in 2015 to honor those who achieved them with a trailblazer award.
“What a fitting time to honor such a woman as Julie Croteau who has broken boundaries, challenged stereotypes, and set an example for generations of St. Mary’s students yet to come,” President Jordan said.
Croteau was recognized Saturday at a reception in her honor. Among many accomplishments in her baseball career, Croteau was the first woman to coach an NCAA Division 1 team (University of Massachusetts) and was one of two women to ever play in a Major League Baseball sanctioned winter league (Hawaiian Winter League). Croteau also played first-baseman in the inaugural season of the female professional baseball team the Colorado Silver Bullets.
Following her professional playing career, Croteau was the television host of Rockies Weekly, the official magazine show for the Colorado Rockies and provided pre-game reports for the San Francisco Giants and Oakland A’s. She also served as a television commentator for the World Series and All Star Games for Major League Baseball.
In 2004, Croteau coached the United States Women’s National Baseball Team, which captured Gold at the 2004 World Cup in Canada. In 2006, Croteau was tapped to be the manager of the Women’s National Team which also captured Gold in Taiwan.
She’s earned many honors for her accomplishments including, being recognized by the White House and Senate as a United States National Girls and Women in Sports honoree as well as being named NBC’s the Today Show’s Sportsman of the Week. Croteau was also selected by the National Organization of Women to receive the Most Valuable Player Award.
In addition to her many on-field accomplishments, Croteau served as an Associate Director for Development for Major League Baseball; worked as a Wealth Advisor for Morgan Stanley and Bear Stearns; and made an appearance in the major motion picture, A League of Their Own.
Croteau obtained her Bachelor of Arts degree from St. Mary’s College of Maryland and attended Smith College on a full academic scholarship for graduate studies in Exercise and Sports Studies. An avid hiker, she enjoys her free time with her husband, Christopher Pepe and two children, Sofia and Lorenzo. They reside in the San Francisco Bay Area.
There are now three trailblazer award recipients.
Trustee Donald “Donny” Bryan ’73, the first African-American student to graduate from St. Mary’s College’s four-year program was the first recipient in 2015 followed by president emeritus Edward T. “Ted” Lewis, whose leadership over the course of 13 years took St. Mary’s College from a generally unknown average college to a nationally recognized public honors college.