Olivia Pichardo from Queens, New York has made history, becoming the first female athlete in NCAA Division I history named to a varsity baseball roster.
The 18-year-old utility player will be one of 31 players on the Brown University baseball team when their season kicks off in February. She made the team after trying out as a walk-on. In the past, Olivia also made the USA Baseball Women’s National Team and has interned for the New York Mets. Pichardo has devoted her time and energy to baseball since age 5. By middle school, she dreamed she could continue playing in college, despite being a female athlete in a male-dominated sport.
She was elated, albeit in shock, when she clinched a spot as the team officially announced its roster for the 2023 season, which begins next February: “It was definitely a surreal moment for me because it’s something that I’ve wanted since eighth grade,” Pichardo said. “It’s kind of crazy to know that I’m living out my dream right now and my ideal college experience that I’ve always wanted, so that’s really cool.”
Pichardo's interest in baseball first came about because of her dad, Max Pichardo, hailing from the Dominican Republic, loved the game and wanted his daughter to love it, too. He moved to the Bronx when he was 12 years old and set up roots in Queens, where Olivia played only baseball, not softball, from the age of 5.