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 a 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: the court ruled that she had "received a fair tryout and that the decision to cut her was made in good faith and for reasons unrelated to gender." 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 Ramsay, 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. She became the first woman to manage a women's baseball team to the gold medal in any international baseball competition.
- "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.
- Croteau v. Fair, 686 F. Supp. 552, 554 n.3. (1988); see also id. at n.4 ("Although there was no persuasive evidence here of discrimination, there was abundant evidence, accepted by the Court, that plaintiff is a fine athlete and a dedicated baseball player. But the competition for a place on the Osbourn Park varsity team was keen. For reasons wholly unrelated to gender, plaintiff did not succeed. The Court notes, however, that plaintiff's ability, industry and determination promise that in the future she will succeed more often that not in whatever endeavors she undertakes.").
- 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.
- ”A Game of Their Own: Voices of Contemporary Women in Baseball”, p.229. Jennifer Ring, University of Nebraska Press, Lincoln and London, 2015, ISBN 978-0-8032-4480-1