But none of that has ever mattered. She has never been deterred because as far as she's concerned baseball is where she belongs, no matter the obstacles.
"I'm a woman in this male-dominated world, but I honestly feel comfortable there," Alvarez said. "There's nowhere I'm more comfortable than on a baseball field."
That comfort comes naturally - Alvarez knew early on she was meant to be a baseball player - but it also comes from a lifetime on the diamond as a student of the game she loves.
Even at just five years old, it was obvious to everyone - including, and maybe most, to Alvarez herself - that she belonged on a diamond of dirt surrounded by a sea of grass.
She said no to the ballet classes her parents suggested. Instead, she was a staple at her older brother's baseball games, taking it all in and being a part of the action however she could.
"I just wanted to play no matter what from the beginning. I don't know why I had this love for the game but it was there and it was real," Alvarez recalled. "I remember my brother started playing before me and I was all about being the bat girl. I just wanted to be there.
"Then I was the one that wanted to practice. As I got older, I was the one out there throwing balls against the garage door and hitting into our net for hours. I absolutely loved it from the beginning and the love just grew and grew and grew."
When she finally got her chance, her passion and immediate love for the game wasn't all she had going for her. She also had talent and the combination meant she could not easily be written off.
"I remember it being a big deal that I was going to try out," she said. "And they tried to kind of dismiss me but then I threw the ball from third base and they were like, 'oh, can't dismiss her!'"
Her arm strength at a young age was impressive and it not only earned her the spot on the team, but also the respect of her coaches and peers. She knew she belonged there and it didn't take long before everyone else knew it too.
During her early playing days, Alvarez spent time at third and on the mound but there was one position that called her name. So, when the team needed a catcher one fateful afternoon, she raised her hand and never looked back.
"One day, our coach said 'we need someone to catch' and my mom was shaking her head but she couldn't fight it," Alvarez laughed. "She couldn't fight it. I couldn't fight it. I was meant to be a catcher."
From then on, Alvarez could be found behind the plate - even when she eventually made the switch to softball like so many young girls do.
She never felt as though she was forced out of baseball and into softball though - in fact, she is quick to defend the other sport that gave her so many opportunities.
Because of softball, Alvarez received a full-ride scholarship to Villanova and a chance to continue playing during a summer in Spain after graduation. It was that summer abroad that truly hammered home to her that she could not - like so many athletes must do after college - just stop playing.
But the sport she really wanted to keep playing? Baseball, of course.
"When I came back (from Spain), I started working for the public school system at a desk job and I was sitting there and all I could think was 'I have to play baseball somehow,'" Alvarez said. "So, I started googling and it eventually linked me to USA Baseball."
She had just missed the 2006 Women's National Team which had recently returned from the World Cup with a gold medal, but a connection was made and when the next try-out was announced a couple years later, Alvarez quickly made her way to Kenosha, Wisconsin, without a second thought.
And just like that, her baseball journey was back on track.
THE TEAM USA PATHWAY
When she booked her trip to the USA Baseball Women's National Team try-out in Wisconsin, Alvarez had only her favorite movie, A League Of Their Own, as a reference point for what to expect.
While this tournament wasn't quite the same, there were some aspects that reminded Alvarez of the film - not the least of which was actually getting to meet and interact with members of the original All-American Girls Professional Baseball League during the event.
But the biggest similarity was her reaction to finally seeing all the athletes. Like the film's protagonists, Alvarez was shocked to see just how many women who, like her, had a passion for playing baseball.
"(The tournament) was phenomenal. It was the first time that I saw that many women playing baseball in one place," she recalled. "It blew my mind. I had no idea - as so many girls and women still have no idea - that something like that existed."
Not only did it exist, but she was getting a chance to be part of it and she did not let the chance pass her by.
Alvarez excelled at the event and was chosen to represent the U.S. on the 2008 Women's National Team at the International Baseball Federation (IBAF) Women's World Cup in Matsuyama, Japan, where she helped Team USA win a bronze medal.
"Wearing the USA jersey and being able to represent the United States in international competition is indescribable," Alvarez said. "Standing for the national anthem with that jersey on, there's nothing that compares to it.
"I'm a first-generation American citizen and the United States provided so much for my family, so playing for the national team and representing the country in that way was the ultimate goal for me."
And 2008 was just the start.
She went on to play on four more national teams, earning another bronze medal and a silver medal at the IBAF Women's World Cups in 2010 and 2012, respectively. She was also a member of the 2015 Women's National Team that claimed gold at the Toronto 2015 Pan American Games.
"Kenosha, Wisconsin, was the beginning of an epic career in baseball," Alvarez said. "I really appreciate that moment because that's what kickstarted all of this. I am so lucky to have extended my career after college into my thirties - a lot of people don't have that chance."
It was a career that gave her friendships, experiences and memories of a lifetime, but eventually, it was time for the next chapter.
Following the 2016 World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) Women's Baseball World Cup, Alvarez made the difficult decision to retire from playing. But while she knew it was the right choice, she was not willing to say goodbye to baseball, or Team USA, entirely.
So, when another opportunity to extend her baseball career came in the form of coaching, Alvarez - once again - jumped at the chance.
"Making that decision (to retire) was heartbreaking and really hard for me. A lifetime of playing, a lifetime of doing something I love, had come to an end," Alvarez said. "But once I came to terms with it, it allowed me to turn the page and go all-in to coaching."
And go all in she did, coaching at every joint USA Baseball and MLB event she could from the Trailblazer Series to the Girls Breakthrough Series, and at the Women's National Team Identification Series, before finally being chosen for the 2018 Women's National Team coaching staff.
"Putting on that jersey as part of the staff meant so much because it was progress," Alvarez said. "We've had women on the Women's National Team coaching staff before but not that many so it was an honor to get to help lead our team."
In her role on the staff, Alvarez was able to hone her ability to see the bigger picture and truly make the transition from player to coach.
It was an invaluable experience that allowed her to learn the game in a different way and prepared her for her next challenges - like getting a chance to coach at MLB Spring Training with the Oakland Athletics. Or write the Women's National Team lineup instead of appearing in it.
"I think I'll look back on my time with (the 2018 Women's National Team) staff as a big part of my progress," she said. "Without that experience, I wouldn't have been mentally ready to, and confident in, approaching an opportunity like the one I got with the Oakland A's - or the one I got to lead Team USA."
This is part one of a two-part feature on five-time Women's National Team player and two-time manager, Veronica Alvarez.