Yes, that’s a long, braided pony tail sticking out the back of the first baseman’s cap.
And, yes again, Victoria Mejia is a girl, playing like one of the guys for a team called the Diamondbacks in the Ahwatukee Little League farm team division.
When most 9-year-old girls are starting to think about moving over to a more gender friendly game like softball, Victoria is steadfast about playing baseball like her older brother, Seth.
“I like baseball better,” she said. “I don’t know why. Softball is OK, but I haven’t played it yet. I just like baseball better.”
Victoria is one of three females in the Ahwatukee Little League Farm division. If she stays in the game she has played since she was 5, she’ll have to move up with 10- and 11-year-old boys in the Minor League division next season.
That doesn’t seem to intimidate her, either. She has already tried out for the Minors All-Star team, which will be selected later this month.
“I like fielding,” Victoria said. “I like sliding, too, but I’m not very good at hitting yet.”
If there is any pressure of playing with the boys, that dissolves when she and her teammates share some treats like they did after the division championship game at Ahwatukee Park last week.
Victoria acknowledges that although she plays with the boys her spot in the lineup card is rare even at her age.
“I feel a little bit different sometimes,” she said. “But this is a fun team to play on.”
A third-grader at Horizon Community Leaning Center in Ahwatukee Foothills, Victoria has been playing in fall and spring baseball leagues for the past four years.
She doesn’t intend to stop now.