On January 26th, 1990:
The Boston Red Sox name Elaine Weddington assistant general manager.
Not only is this story incredible because Elaine Weddington is a woman, she was the first black female to reach such a position in baseball. One thing I have always noticed missing from baseball is women. None of the general managers are women (though Kim Ng gave it a run this past off-season). None of the umpires are women. You don’t even see many women broadcasters or analysts. I realize that baseball is a game played by men, but I find it odd that more women have not been able to break through into the upper levels of these jobs. Even if a woman cannot compete physically with men on the diamond (not that no woman could, but overall, I think it would be difficult for a woman to get into baseball, especially with the emphasis being on power), she could surely be as good of an analyst, general manager, or umpire. The major obstacle then becomes respect, and it may be extremely difficult for a woman to get any respect from men. Maybe, the lack of respect has even pushed well-qualified women away from the game.
Back to the story at hand, Weddington became the first black female to become the assistant general manager of a professional sports team…
INTRODUCING: Elaine C. Weddington First Woman Baseball Executive
ELAINE C. Weddington watches Boston Red Sox games with a keener eye and a more deliberate purpose than she did when she followed the New York Mets on TV as a child. No longer does she look at baseball for the pure enjoyment of the “national pastime.” Now, millions of dollars are riding on her knowledge of the game and its players. She is making history as the first woman and the second African-American named to an upper-echelon post in major league baseball.
As the Boston Red Sox’s assistant general manager, Weddington doesn’t let the weightiness of the job over-shadow her love of the game. The 26-year-old, New York-bred attorney, whose responsibilities include contract negotiations and league rule interpretation, says she’s got the best of both worlds.
“I’ve found a job I love,” she says, “And I’m doing what I’ve always wanted to do – sports management and the negotiation of player contracts. But one of the best things about working in a ballpark is when you get through your normal work day, and if there’s a home game, you have something to look forward to…”
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