Sports Journalism Institute

Helping women and minorities get into newsrooms since 1993

Hershiser’s encouragement kept Boivin going

Paola Boivin almost walked away from sports writing early in her trailblazing career before Orel Hershiser gave her the confidence she needed to stick through the rough patches. Boivin said there were many good moments early in her career, but that the challenges she had to face as a woman nearly caused her to walk away. Women sportswriters often faced a high level of disrespect in the industry at that time, and Boivin said it was taking a toll on her. Boivin this week shared with our SJI class at Arizona State how she used to walk into the Dodgers locker room with her head down and eyes fixed on her feet. Hershiser, a former star Dodgers pitcher, pulled her aside and told her to enter the room with her head high because she belonged there. That memory has stayed with Boivin, and she said that moment helped inspire her to stay in sports. She has covered multiple sports for the Arizona Republic as well as been a columnist, and in 2017 was inducted into the Arizona Sports Hall of Fame. She now teaches other aspiring sports journalists at Arizona State and serves as the digital director of the Cronkite News-Phoenix Sports Bureau. She’s also a member of the College Football Playoff Selection Committee, only the second woman (after Condoleezza Rice) to be part of that group.
–Frank Bonner II