Julie Croteau is recognized as the first woman to play men’s NCAA baseball, as well as the first woman to coach men’s NCAA Division I baseball. She is one of two women to ever play in an Major League Baseball-sanctioned winter league, and her baseball glove and photo are on permanent display at the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York.
In 1988, Croteau sued Osbourn Park High School in Manassas, Virginia for the right to play on the boys' baseball team in 1988, but lost. At St. Mary's College of Maryland (Division III), she made the men's baseball team as a freshman walk on. She received national media attention for this accomplishment. After playing in college, Croteau attended graduate school at Smith College and continued her career by coaching men's NCAA baseball at Western New England University (Division III) and then at the University of Massachusetts Amherst (Division I).
Croteau was a baseball double for actress Anne Ramsey, who portrayed first basewoman Helen Haley, in the 1992 Columbia Pictures film A League of Their Own.
In 1994, Croteau played with the Colorado Silver Bullets, a women's professional baseball team, in its inaugural season. After one season, she and teammate Lee Anne Ketcham joined the Maui Stingrays of the Hawaiian Winter Baseball League, becoming the first women to play in a Major League Baseball-sanctioned league.
In 2004, Croteau was selected to be the third base coach for the United States Women's National Team, which captured the gold medal at the 2004 Women's World Cup of Baseball in Edmonton. In 2006, Croteau was promoted to become the manager of the Women’s National Team which won the Women’s World Cup in Taiwan.
- "The New Pioneers - Julie Croteau". Sports Illustrated Women/Sport. Spring 1997. Retrieved April 26, 2009.
- Gregorich, Barbara (1993). Women at Play: The Story of Women in Baseball. Harcourt. p. 214. ISBN 0-15-698297-8. Retrieved April 26, 2009.
- Miller, Ernestine G. (2002). Making Her Mark: Firsts and Milestones in Women's Sports. McGraw-Hill Professional. p. 27. ISBN 0-07-139053-7. Retrieved April 26, 2009.
- Rick Lawes (June 6, 1996). "Female pitcher eyes pros". USA Today Baseball Weekly. Retrieved April 26, 2009.