WEST PALM BEACH, FL — A 14-year-old Florida girl who throws a 78 mph fastball, was allowed to take the field with her teammates on the Okeeheelee Community Middle School baseball team Monday afternoon even though she had inintially been told she could no longer play with the team, according to her lawyer. South Florida attorney Mark Eiglarsh told Patch that the initial decision was based on the fact that Violet Mendez is a girl.
“My understanding is the principal told the baseball coach and the baseball coach told my client and her father that she can’t play, despite the baseball coach wanting her to play,” said Eiglarsh of the Miami-Based Law Offices of Mark Eiglarsh. “He has coached her for two years, and said to me this morning that she is one of the top players.”
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Eiglarsh, who was driving to the game when he spoke to Patch, said Mendez and her father, Orlando, planned to take legal action against the school if she was not permitted to play.
“She’s going to take that field. She’s going to play,” he insisted before the game. “The only way she’s not is if she’s physically restricted from doing so.”
The game was scheduled to be played at 4 p.m. outside Okeeheelee Community Middle School at 2200 Pinehurst Drive in West Palm Beach.
A spokeswoman for the School District of Palm Beach County told Patch that Mendez initially did not have the correct paperwork to play on the team.
“In this instance our legal team was looking into it and it has been resolved,” said Julie Houston Trieste. “She did not have the proper paperwork required to play.”
Eiglarsh said that an attorney for the school district reversed the initial decision.
“My client and her family are thrilled,” he said.
“She actually was ranked as one of the top 90 high school players and she’s not even in high school,” the attorney added.
Photo of Violet Mendez courtesy Law Offices of Mark Eiglarsh