Jenny Cavnar is shocked that she has a Wikipedia page—and that, at least as of Monday, it is accurate. “Yep, Flint, Michigan, sure did that,” she says as she reads the nascent webpage, which correctly lists her first employer: WJRT, where she covered high school and college sports for a local ABC affiliate. “I did not have a Wikipedia page before this moment in time,” she says.

“This moment” occurred a week ago, when NBC Sports California named Cavnar, who’d spent the past 12 years in various media roles with the Colorado Rockies, the primary play-by-play announcer for the Oakland Athletics for the upcoming season. She is the first woman to be a full-time play-by-play caller in professional baseball.

The Aurora native—and Colorado State graduate—is quick to deflect the spotlight to other women in her industry. There is Beth Mowins, of course, the trailblazing play-by-play announcer and reporter who covers football and basketball. And in baseball, there is Suzyn Waldman, who does color commentary on New York Yankees radio; Melanie Newman, who does radio and television commentary for the Baltimore Orioles; and Jessica Mendoza, who is an analyst on ESPN and Los Angeles Dodgers telecasts. Cavnar could go on (and she does).

Still, none of those gals is a television play-by-play announcer, and for that, Cavnar, 41, has made history. We sat down with the newly minted A’s broadcaster to chat about the significance of the moment and how life in Colorado led her to it.

Editor’s note: The following conversation has been edited for length and clarity.

5280: What has the moment been like? Has it sunk in yet?
Jenny Cavnar: The timeline of everything is pretty crazy—from interviewing at winter meetings to going to auditions to finding out I got the job around the holidays. I had about seven weeks to soak it up with my family and try to prepare for what was going to happen after the announcement was made [on February 13]. I had a little idea [of the fanfare I might expect because] of the immediate attention I received after calling a Rockies game as a fill-in in 2018. But I really have been blown away by the social media, emails, phone calls, and texts, and the wonderful people in our lives—friends, family, and peers in baseball and broadcasting—that have reached out to congratulate me.

Any Colorado heroes among those who are making this time special?
Larry Walker reached out to me, which was so cool. And [Rockies manager] Bud Black and [former Rockies fan favorite] Connor Joe and a handful of current players. Just yesterday, I got a video from [former Rockies] Michael Cuddyer, Justin Morneau, and LaTroy Hawkins, who all work together in the Minnesota Twins organization now.

Who are some of your inspirations, both professionally and personally?
I can point back very easily to my dad [Steve Cavnar] for why I like sports and why I ended up playing sports and why I ultimately ended up in a career in sports. He was a high school baseball coach [for 36 years, winning state titles at both Smoky Hill and Regis Jesuit, before being inducted into the Colorado High School Baseball Hall of Fame], and baseball was all I knew growing up.

But I’d be remiss if I didn’t talk about my grandmother and her influence in my life. She was one of nine children that grew up in Kentucky, and she’s the only one that left. At 16, she graduated high school early and went to Johns Hopkins University. She had to attend night school because women weren’t allowed on campus during the day, and then she ended up going to seminary school in Philadelphia where she met my grandfather, who is a Denver native, and they settled back in Colorado.

My grandmother and her sisters in Kentucky are huge University of Kentucky basketball fans. Some of my first experiences of being with women in sports were when I’d go to basketball games with them, cheer for teams with them, and talk about sports with them. Their influence in my life meant so much and is where that passion for being a woman in a groundbreaking industry comes from. I look at my grandma doing the things that she did way back then.

And when you fast forward, a lot of very influential people made choices to take a chance on me and give me opportunities: Dennis Morgigno was the first person that hired me—at Channel 4 San Diego to do the San Diego Padres—and I was pretty green as a reporter, but he said I know a baseball, so he took the chance on me, and I was able to grow there.

Ken Miller, who was the executive producer in Colorado for what was ROOT Sports in 2012, hired me to come back here to Denver. And then Alison Vigil, who is the Rockies’ TV producer, is the one that really said, “We’re going to put you in the booth. You’re going to do play-by-play, and we’re going to be here to support you.” And then, of course, all my great colleagues on Rockies TV: I feel very lucky to have intersected with Jeff Huson and Ryan Spillborghs and Cory Sullivan, who supported me when I transitioned into the booth. The Rockies have an amazing team and amazing people that really know how to push you in a direction that you need to be challenged, and I feel very, very lucky for the time I had in Colorado.

Were there any similar opportunities to stay within the Rockies’ organization?
It was a moment of a career intersection. At the end of last season, AT&T SportsNet Rocky Mountain shut down, which [left the Rockies without a TV home]. So I took the offseason as an opportunity to see what else was out there. I love everyone I worked with in Colorado, but our business is changing, and it was time to just see if there was an opportunity out there to do play-by-play and further my career in that regard.

This job with the Oakland A’s was open, and I know people there [in that organization and that area]. My husband [a Denver firefighter now] grew up in Stockton [60-some miles inland from Oakland] and has family there still. He and his mom are very close with Dallas Braden, who will be in the booth with me. It made it feel very comfortable. There’s a studio there, and it was an opportunity to pursue play-by-play.

What would you say to any young girls who want to pursue a career in sports broadcasting but maybe don’t see a ton of women doing it now?
It was probably 1999 when I saw Melissa Stark on TV reporting on the sideline for Monday Night Football, and I made a proclamation in my living room that that’s what I wanted to do. And my dad—as naïve as we both were—was like, ‘Yeah, that’s a great job! You should do that!’ We had no clue how competitive this industry was.

So 25 years later, my hope is that there’s a little girl sitting in her living room, watching sports with her dad, and she knows there are now hundreds of sports media jobs out there for her. And what she may dream to do because of the women that have pushed the door open in the last two and a half decades is totally possible. And it is very humbling to be a part of that conversation.

Would your advice change for girls who live in Colorado, away from the coasts, where maybe the path isn’t as obvious?
There may be more opportunity and more accessibility to those jobs on the coasts, but we have a very cool, very big sorority of women sports broadcasters in Colorado and from Colorado. There’s Marcia Neville, Susie Wargin, Romi Bean, Taylor McGregor, Lauren Gardner, Alanna Rizzo—the list goes on. And to me, it’s no coincidence. There’s something about being born and raised here and the pride we take specifically in sports. It’s ingrained very early for kids here to love your sports teams and to go support your sports teams—high school, college, pro—and that’s the common denominator. It becomes your passion here early, and many of us are able to grow that into a career.

Most of your time with the Rockies was spent in the booth or on the field, but what are your best Coors Field recommendations—where to sit, what to eat, what to drink?
Find a seat that is down the first-base side but up in the club level or 300 level or higher, and go on a summer night—the sunset view is amazing. With the mountains, it’s just picture-perfect—you can’t get more Colorado than that. You have to grab one of those berry kabobs [from Berrie Kabobs in section 132] when you walk in—you smell them right away—then stop at Helton Burger Shack.

What about Denver? What are your favorite Mile High City spots?
Our favorite restaurant is the Plimoth, a little [New American eatery] in Skyland. In Erie [where Cavnar and her family live now], I like 24 Carrot Bistro. I obviously love Westbound and Down [which has a downtown location a block from Coors Field and a Lafayette location, close to Erie] and anything from Odell Brewing.

Cavnar will call 95 games for the Oakland Athletics this season, joining the team for most road trips and a handful of home stands. Denver—most recently Erie—remains her home base.