Skip to Content

New Jersey woman to become first female MLB umpire

WEST MILFORD, N.J. (NBC, KYMA/KECY) - A New Jersey native is one step closer to becoming the first female umpire in Major League Baseball (MLB).

Walking down the hallway at West Milford High, and there one athletes' name you see again and again: Jen Pawol.

"She's definitely on the Mount Rushmore of West Milford athletics," said Jim Dransfield, coach for the West Milford softball team.

Almost 30 years after she graduated from West Milford, Pawol is still making her mark on the field. But this time, it's as an MLB umpire. This weekend, she will be the first female umpire to officiate a spring training game in 17 years.

"It doesn't surprise me at all. She's always worked really hard to accomplish what she wanted to do," Dransfield shared.

Inspiring the next generation of athletes

Pawol wasn't just a two-time all state softball catcher at West milford. She was also a two-time all county shot putter and an all-New Jersey soccer goalie.

The confidence and motivation she developed as a player at West Milford and at Hofstra University have helped in her groundbreaking career as an MLB umpire.

Pawol's ultimate goal is to be the first woman umpire ever to officiate a regular season MLB game. Her drive and determination is already inspiring the next generation of athletes.

"It was inspiring to know that someone with that much success walked these halls and played in the same field as I did, and to know that I have the same opportunities," said Krista Keller, captain of the West Milford softball team.

Pawol's fans say they would be watching Saturday's Astros-Nationals matchup in West Palm Beach, cheering for the umpire.

Article Topic Follows: National-World

Jump to comments ↓

NBC News

Author Profile Photo

Dillon Fuhrman

If you have any story ideas, reach out to him at


KYMA KECY is committed to providing a forum for civil and constructive conversation.

Please keep your comments respectful and relevant. You can review our Community Guidelines by clicking here

If you would like to share a story idea, please submit it here.

Skip to content