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Hannah Wing: The Woman Who Pitched Herself to the MLB

Courtesy of @hannahwing via Instagram

Yes, that pun was intended, especially when it comes to the free-spirited and enthusiastic Hannah.

Hannah Wing, digital and in-game host for the Texas Rangers, realized her dreams of working in the sports industry during her childhood spent in Orange County, California. She may not have played baseball, but with professional baseball players for a father and grandfather, Hannah knew that a career in sports was a natural fit for her. And despite growing up a fan of the Los Angeles Angels, Hannah found it easy to fall in love with her new home team, the Texas Rangers.

“My mom saved all of the ticket stubs for different events throughout my life, so for this particular game, I was probably 2 or 3 years old,” says Hannah. “It was actually the Rangers playing in Anaheim Stadium, so a little bit of foreshadowing there!” 

Courtesy of @hannahwing via Instagram

Reminiscing on her childhood was one thing, but reflecting on all that she’s learned throughout her career has been even more eye-opening. Hannah always knew that sports was her greatest passion, but it was all about discerning the right role for herself. 

Hannah attended the University of Southern California after initially going to Loyola Marymount. During her time at USC, Hannah embarked on a broadcasting career in both sports and news, which allowed her to hone in on a specific niche that felt right for her. With this knowledge in mind, she applied to pertinent jobs all across the country after she graduated from USC. With the help of the job site, Work In Sports, Hannah took initiative and emailed different news directors while submitting applications to all the sports entertainment and news positions she could find. 

“I remember having a Google Sheet with a tab for each state and links to all the applications for where I applied to,” Hannah said. “Worst case scenario, they say no and you’re back to where you started. It never hurts to try and put yourself out there and show them what you’re capable of while also sharing your ideas.”

Courtesy of @hannahwing via Instagram

One of the many things Hannah learned throughout the job application process was that working for minor league teams jump-starts your career as you’re building the necessary skills for the major leagues. Hannah can testify to this, especially since she now has such a wide-faceted role with the Rangers.

“I’m an in-game host, which you see on Instagram a lot. I’m on the jumbotron during games, inning breaks, pre-game things like that. I’m also a digital host, so I have a presence on the Rangers’ social channels, and I do ‘Hannah’s Highlights’ every pre-game for home and post-season games. I usually talk about who’s pitching that night, roster moves, what color the team’s wearing, if the roof’s open, just all the need-to-know things.” 

Courtesy of @hannahwing via Instagram

Throughout our conversation, it was evident as to how fearless Hannah is. She isn’t afraid of rejection, nor moving cross-country for her dreams, and this determination paid off in the end. She told me how she actually met with the Rangers and pitched the career she had in mind, basically telling them, “Give me a year, if you wanna get rid of me, that’s fine.” Fast forward to five years later, it’s safe to say that the Rangers scored off the field too with a team player in Hannah. I felt like I scored too when she gave me this fun little anecdote:

“When you have your first day with the Rangers, they’ll send you a graphic ahead of time but it has questions like, ‘Do you bat right or left-handed?,’ ‘Do you throw right or left-handed?’ and they make you a little baseball card.” Hannah said. “One of the questions is, ‘What’s your walk-up song?’ and I said, ‘Country Girl Shake It For Me’ because I was just excited to live in Texas! I didn’t know it was going to be emailed to the entire company, so I got so embarrassed and haven’t had the opportunity to think of a different song.”

It was challenging for Hannah to come up with a new answer (I know it was for me when she directed the question back to me!), but she ended up settling on a Rangers’ favorite: “Kickstart My Heart” by Mӧtley Crüe.

Courtesy of @hannahwing via Instagram

Something that hasn’t been a challenge for Hannah is developing such a tastefully curated personal style. She may not have had much social media experience prior to her role with the Rangers, but her account certainly underwent a glo-up as her learning progressed. Outside of the analytical, statistical world of baseball, Hannah also shares OOTG’s (Outfit of the Game), style tips, and promotes brands she loves. Hannah admitted that she didn’t realize how important content creation would be when she first started, but she can certainly testify to its importance now, especially since teams across all the major sports leagues are using it. 

Content creation just feels necessary when you have players and game moments that are so worthy of sharing. Hannah faced difficulty when it came to pinpointing a specific favorite player on the field. However, during the World Series run, she did find herself most drawn to Austin Hedges’ energy:

“Austin Hedges was my favorite because he was the director of morale and would just get everyone so excited. He was always yelling and screaming and fist-bumping people, and his reactions were always fun to watch in the dugout. But on the field, I don’t really have a specific player. It’s a really amazing organization from the top down, so the players all have really good character and are just good people to be around overall.”

Courtesy of @hannahwing via Instagram

Austin certainly isn’t the only one with high morale either; Hannah’s positive energy is just as infectious. One of the toughest things women face, especially in the sports world, is the misogyny and the discrediting that often comes their way. This didn’t seem to be the case with Hannah. She knows there’s certainly a ways to go, but it seems the Rangers’ organization and the MLB as a whole seem to be making good progress. 

“I don’t think I necessarily felt pressure as a woman in sports. The Rangers, specifically, have done such a great job of hiring young women. When I first started, there were already young women working there.” Hannah recalls. “At the end of the day, people in the sports world and in baseball, understand the value of the ‘young female’ and what we bring to the table.”

Courtesy of @hannahwing via Instagram

Hannah’s brought so much to the table for the sake of women in sports. Her boldness and determination to make her dreams a reality are proof that you only miss the shots you never take. Or in Hannah’s case, you’ll keep striking out if you never swing. 

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