Kerri Amirarlt Ui Bal Jen Benson Michelle Betti Danielle Brenner Alexis Busch Katie Cleary Sara Cleary Cathy Cloyd Sal Coats Susie Cunanan Tamara Deleon Karen Deloy Anna Emery Bekki Garcia Rachel Gary Jen Goodwin Giavanna Hampton Rocky Henley Angela Hill Brianna Holland Emily Hunt Sara Krentz Susan Kyle Melanie Laspina Kelly Lotz Kim Lychak Tracey Magni Jessie Maldonado Elizabeth McMurray Jackie Mojica Toni Morgan Dawn Moy Rhonda Palmer Adrienne Raquiza Shayna Rentfro Miali Reynoso Liz Robertson Lisa Roepken Kim Rose Sherri Schneider Homa Shaffi Alex Sickinger Rhonda Staton Sheri Svenson Jen Tating Susan Wheeler Courtney Zobak
If you look at our new About Us Blog page, you will find that bit of info that you may have been wondering about: who are these people who are generating this Girls Play Baseball Dot Com web presence, Blog Sites, in all – and (maybe, more importantly): why do I care?
Yes, this is blatant promotion of the new Blog Page! But, also, it can focus your attention on a few of the fundamental issues that remain the same a long as girls are not encouraged to play Baseball in light of the strong alternative of Softball being offered, in good spirit, by Youth Baseball organizations throughout the land.
(Now, that is the first time I really thought about that: what on Earth are Baseball organizations doing providing Softball – to Girls?!? Maybe we should look at that, too, – for a another blog entry, soon…))
Back to the point: I had a brief, but revealing conversation yesterday with the father of CaraMia Tsirigos. It sounded a lot like the conversation I would have with the father of either Katie Brownell or Gabby Sanchez, both girl Baseball players who are on the WBL Sparks team, headed for Cooperstown Dreams Park in July (or, as the general public may not realize, Sammi Kane Kraft, who didn’t merely portray a spectacular Pitcher in the remake of The Bad News Bears, but she actually IS a spectacular all-around Baseball player, and terrific Pitcher):
girls who have played Baseball since they could hold and throw the ball; with a family of skilled, committed Baseball playing, siblings (read: brothers); proud and supportive parents, who work with the girls, daily, providing them with coaching and training.
Seems like a very powerful combination to challenge the neigh-sayers on the local level: who would turn down the opportunity for glory if the girl can play?!? (an aside – last night, on ABCFamily, “The Rookie,” with Dennis Quad, was on – reluctantly had to put the kids to bed before it was over… But there is a line in there ripe for the picking: puled right off of the IMdB web site:
Dave Patterson: Jimmy, how fast were you throwing fifteen years ago?
Jimmy: Slow enough to where scouts stopped using the word “fast”.
Dave Patterson: Seriously, how fast were you throwing?
Jimmy: I don’t know… 85-86?
Dave Patterson: You just threw 98 miles an hour.
Dave Patterson: Twelve straight pitches, three radar guns. Same thing on all of ’em.
Jimmy: Look, Dave, there’s no way…
Dave Patterson: Jimmy, I’ve been a scout for a long time, and the number one rule is, arms slow down when they get old. Now, if I call the office and tell ’em I got a guy here almost twice these kids’ age, I’m gonna get laughed at. But, if I don’t call in a 98-mile-an-hour fastball, I’m gonna get fired! I’m just saying there’s a chance you might get a call on this.
[turns to leave, then turns around]”)
When we helped to put on an exhibition mini-tourney, in Burlingame, CA, with the California Women’s Baseball League, last October 2nd, 2005, our daughter had the opportunity to play with some of the best girls and young women playing Youth Baseball in California – and against those from Australia.
To see the caliber of those players, who represent all girls in their respective communities, for miles around, while it encouraged me to support and work as a community steward towards the launch of an all-girls Baseball league in our home town of San Francisco it further outraged me that girls would be discouraged from playing Baseball at all.
(Thanks to the valiant efforts of The City’s Park & Rec. department and the city’s partners, PAL and FLAME; the daily efforts of Cara Gerken, Director of the Excelsior Sports Collaborative and no less the gratitude to Team Up For Youth for the funding and leadership mentoring: we now have such a league…)
(Burlingame, CA,)— Filling the ranks of a modern day “League of Their Own,” the San Francisco Girl’s Baseball League California (SFGBL), in conjunction with the California Women’s Baseball League (CWBL) is hosting the first ever Intercontinentla/International game of Baseball with girl-only teams. On October 2nd, from 3pm – 5pm at Bay Side Park, 1125 Airport Blvd, Burlingame, CA 94011. With players coming from as far North as Elk Grove and Willits and as far East as Alamo, we have discovered the commitment and dedication of girls to play Baseball. There will be a 14 and over game played at Washington Park in Burlingame. This will be a double header at the High School field against the Cal Women’s Baseball All-Star team.
“SAMMI KANE KRAFT (Amanda Whurlitzer) will be making an appearance during the game. Of Paramount’s recent Summer released “Bad News Bears” (2005) fame (the remake of the popular 1976 hit that originally starred Walter Matthau and Tatum O’Neal) Sammi is offering her support and commitment to Girls Baseball, as she demonstrates no needed for a stunt double during her performance on the mound. Sammi began playing ball around the age of 4 in New York City. Coached by her father in Baseball, she led several teams to championships. Pitching is her specialty. She also excels in basketball and played on her hometown’s All-Star Girls Basketball Team.
The San Francisco Girl’s Baseball League is formed to bridge the gap between organizations that permit girls to play Baseball, and organizations dedicated to offering women access to continuing with Baseball, rather than moving into Softball.
“Once a girl who has been playing Baseball reaches the age of 9, and wants to continue, she usually finds herself as the only girl on her team – let alone her league,” says Jim Nemerovski, the founder of SFGBL. “Many girls, who want to continue playing Baseball meet tough competition from the boys, as the girls demonstrate equal commitment within their coed team to improve skills. Getting the chance to play certain positions enough is the only way to develop as a player rand as a person. Now, they can achieve, both, in their younger years, until they reach the age of 14. At that point, they have the option of playing Women’s Baseball within leagues, such as the CWBL, providing them with even greater opportunity as they compete for openings on Junior Varsity and Varsity Baseball teams.”
Within the San Francisco Bay Area, and other communities within Northern California, the San Francisco Giants Community Fund – Junior Giants program, as one example, provides a comprehensive training program, for, both, girls and boys, in a non-competitive, skill-development program. By contrast, the San Francisco Little League, and their affiliated leagues, within the regional District 3, offer a more competitive approach to Youth Baseball, while also offering Softball for girls only. This has lead to complacency in promoting coed Baseball among girls, let alone the formation of girls-only Baseball teams and leagues.
These games October 2nd, from 3pm – 5pm for the (13U) and 6- 9 for the (14 and over) are the first stop for the Australians on their way to Orlando, Florida, to challenge other 13 and Under (13U) Girls Baseball teams in Disney’s Wide World of Sports Showdown (http://tinyurl.com/4vzmk), an exciting and diverse event with competition for traditional youth age divisions, including a 13U girls division for the first time, High School Age Wood Bat, Women’s, and Vintage divisions.
The SFGBL is the first Baseball league located in the San Francisco Bay Area with a focus entirely on girls under 14 years old. Events such this International – Intercontinental Baseball Game highlights the popularity among girls, around the globe, who are interested in and committed to playing Baseball. It helps in the common missions of the SFGBL and the CWBL in making the game of Baseball as accessible to girls and women as it is to boys and men.
For more information on opportunities for girls to play Baseball, within the greater San Francisco community, visit http://www.girlsplaybaseball.org or call (415) 385-0643.
Twenty-five years ago, Haiti produced almost all of the world’s baseballs. Women would stand in the factories all day, hand-stitching the cowhide, 108 stitches a ball. It cost about 9 cents to produce a baseball, and woman could stitch three dozen a day. They earned $3 a day, under the ruthless Devalier dictatorship.
Twenty-five years have passed, and not much has changed for the men and women on the production line. The main difference is that they are stitching garments, not baseballs. They still earn about $3 a day — enough to buy a bottle of milk and a loaf of bread in the local supermarket. Today, breakfast, lunch, dinner and public transportation consume what the average T-shirt maker earns in a 10-hour workday…
Originally posted October 19, 2009
You may be a girl who will discover Hardball Baseball this Spring. Try it – you may become really excited about.
Many girls seem to make that discovery with Softball since there are so many girls playing the sport. But Softball isn’t the same sport as Baseball. (Here is a comparison between the two on Wikipedia Dot Org.)
Some girls start young playing Baseball and don’t want to switch to Softball – some Softball playing girls try Baseball and enjoy it. Even if they never give Softball a try: for some girls it just doesn’t interest them even looking at it from a distance. Even if they have good friends in school who enjoy Softball – they get together at other times to do other stuff.
Some girls who play Softball in the Spring try Baseball in the Fall (in San Francisco, there is no Fall Girls Softball in our local Little League – some of the more daring and skilled Softball girls try Baseball and enjoy it – seemingly more than some of the boys who have been playing Baseball as long as the girls have been playing Softball!)
Some of you have friends who do any number of activities: play the piano; discover dance; enjoy making things with art and craft supplies; MySpace and Facebook are very popular and are places on the Internet easy to access and to explore for hours (even though you are supposed to be a certain age to create your own pages… ;-))
But what is it going to take to get out of your chair, away from the computer, and move around?
Spring is coming up very soon. Baseball registration, at all levels, comes up in the next few weeks.
You can sign up at Little League; Cal Ripken or Babe Ruth; Protect our Nations’ Youth (PONY); if you are already skilled enough – from playing Baseball or Softball – you have the opportunity to try out for American Legion Baseball.
if you have a local Recreation & Park league – or one of the other community organizations such as Boys & Girls Club or Police Activities League (PAL); YMCA or JCC: you have every right and opportunity to sign up for BASEBALL:
NO PERSON OR ORGANIZATION CAN PREVENT YOU FROM SIGNING UP FOR AND PLAYING HARDBALL BASEBALL IN ANY COMMUNITY LEAGUE THAT EITHER RECEIVES PUBLIC FUNDING OR PLAYS ON PUBLIC PROPERTY.*
(except your parents or legal guardian, of course… – and if they don’t believe it have them read this survey taken a couple of years ago that may help them with the idea that you are allowed to sign up for Baseball even if the league organizers and directors tell you and your parents otherwise…)
No matter what you are told by the leagues and community organizations: you don’t have to play Softball if prefer Baseball:
it is not only the law for all citizens and residents of the United States of America – it may just be the right activity for you to reach for great things in life!
if you have any questions about this please consider visiting the Women’s Sports Foundation web site to discover your rights and contact them direct for any support you may need.
(*Originally, “Public funding” would mean Federal funding. But most public organizations and facilities receive monies from that source, either indirect or directly through more local organizations – “follow the money,” as they say.)
Also, in Middle and High School, PUBLIC OR PRIVATE, you always have the option of trying out – but making the team is at the discretion of the coach and can be hard to verify if they were biased in their decision to allow you to make the cut. But, there are girls who not only try out but make the team and play in the regular season games, some of whom are the team’s best competitive performers. if you have any questions about this you can contact your state or local School Association representatives direct – here is a link to locate yours.)
Originally posted January 5, 2008
What are we asking for:
• Girls play Baseball – not Softball;
• Girls play Baseball with boys;
• Girls play competitively;
• Girls play Baseball with girls;
• Girls play in a nurturing environment.
Confusing? Not really…
Girls and women shouldn’t have to limit their choices based on their gender. Period.
No one is asking – we’re all telling you matter-of-factly what the different goals are:
different ones for different girls and their supporters;
at different times, one is more strategic than another.
When a group of girls get together and…:
• only one girl – or the coach – can pitch: should they pitch the whole game? if so, how should they preserve their arm to last: they can’t throw heat the whole time…? Or, do the girls try and pitch during the game even if it means inconsistency?
• one or more girls are used to playing competitive Baseball and are far more developed than the others new to Baseball: how can they best contribute to the game?
• in your community, the girls finally got access to a field to play Softball: how do you now go about getting the same community to wrap their minds around the idea that they should still let the girls play Baseball with the boys or give up their limited field space to girls who also want to play Baseball?
Originally posted September 27, 2006
I’m not endorsing any organization or policy that excludes ANYONE from playing and enjoying Baseball within their own community – whether that community is San Francisco or Earth. And, most important: it is up to you if you are going to challenge prejudice and the wall of resistance to a girl playing hardball Baseball. If you run into it you need to reach out to find resources that can help support you in getting onto a team and getting the opportunity to play like all of the other players. In Little League they have to bat you in the line up until you reach the Majors.
Actually, I was corresponding with John Kovach, a very successful girl’s Softball and Baseball coach from Indiana, who has designed a logo for a t-shirt. He plans on making it available soon. It points out that a girl’s only obstacle to playing Baseball in Little League is the smokescreen of Softball and the diversion from Baseball by local league officials from the Baseball sign-up.
But, as I was watching the Little League World Series (I missed the final International game as it was rained out on Sunday – missed the broadcast as it was during family dinner time on Monday, Pacific Standard time,) and the games leading up to it, I noticed a very distinct and similar kind of play among the teams: one of grace and balance, one that was not forced and required both aggression and tact.
Have I seen it before, in our local Little League games? Sorta – as a coach and as an assistant coach, I have experienced some of it, but: the teams that play in the ultimate tournaments across the World, the ones that reach this level of play are harmonized in a way that clearly defines certain principles – in action, in time.
By contrast, I was lucky enough to catch some of the Cal Ripken World Series on a cable TV channel much higher up on the dial. After our family’s experience two summers ago we have some perspective of the clear differences between these two organizations and their philosophies and developmental approaches.
Our son’s Little League coaches took a team, assembled from the best, available Little League Rookie players, to Concord, California, to play in a Junior Optimists’s tournament, hosted by the Cal Ripken and Babe Ruth Baseball organizations.
Without getting too much into the details, right now (I think a separate article on a deeper, technical level is in order in the “How…” section of this site,) let’s just say that NOT running the bases is NOT and option in the Cal Ripken league: it is a tactic to steal on each pitch thrown: despite the lack of control and power of a given catcher to throw the runner out. Truly a trial by fire, or. giving the coaches of tournament-ready teams credit: the players who see clearly what the goal is in winning will work harder to develop their skills. Harder than what, you may be asking…?
In communities other than San Francisco, which has a Little League intentionally set up to prevent teams from staying together from T-Ball through even Senior level (again, more on this, later,) it doesn’t matter if it is Little League; Cal Ripken-Babe Ruth or Park & Rec: if the weather permits; and your community supports its members who volunteer to work with kids to achieve success through Youth Baseball; and the kids are focused on Baseball as a primary activity: you can see success as a natural result of that kind of commitment.
Then why, you may be asking now, is Little League a Girl’s Best Hope: if the real deciding factors are available time and commitment to developing a team towards reaching its potential?
It is the lack of these resources (and, in San Francisco for example, where the goal of building on-going from ages 6-13 singularly exceptional teams isn’t another barrier to participation) that forces Little League to adopt the open door policy that should include girls. it is only the pervasiveness of Softball and the self-fulfilling destiny that it brings to girls worldwide, again: diverting attention from the simple administrative task of signing up your daughter for Baseball this Fall Ball, as offered in some communities, but DEFINITELY FOR NEXT SPRING SEASON!!!
During the 2006 Little League World Series, broadcasted on ESPN, commentators may have inadvertently stuck their feet in their mouths – or they actually hold true that the World Series is a culmination of all a boy and his dad have been through together to get there, the pinnacle of all of the hard work and great times together. As the result of some of the commentary the mother of a boy and girl decided to let the ESPN management know how she felt, contacting the Ombudsperson through the ESPN web site:
“During the coverage of the Little League New England Final: the commentators mentioned that the Little League experience was a bonding experience for sons and fathers; that they have gone the distance, together.
Guess where I’m going with this…
As a mother of two children, who have participated in Little League and other Youth Baseball programs for the past 4 years, I take offense at the stereotypical portrayal of this as a father and son activity.
First, as their mother (though their father is an assistant coach as his work schedule permits) I am mostly responsible for getting my children and others on the teams to and from practices and many times games.
As their supportive parent, in attendance at as many games as my work schedule permits, I am their for my kids, the other kids playing, supporting a venture that, otherwise, I probably would not be supportive of – particularly, due to the gender bias that permeates Little League.
You see, we have a daughter that will no longer participate in Little League due the gender bias she experienced – which permeates the league as they encourage girls to only play Softball. Now that she is an accepted member of another Co-Ed Youth Baseball organization…where she is treated as an equal, and given the same opportunities to demonstrate her skill and commitment to her team (she was the lead run driver in last Spring’s season and selected by her team mates as a city-wide All-Star) as the boys, she has excelled in Baseball, to the point where she was selected for the Women’s Baseball League Sparks – an All-Star all-girls team that recently was the only team in history to beat an all-boys or co-ed youth Baseball team at the infamous Cooperstown Dreams Park.
As a family, still participating in the organization that disadvantaged his sister, our son also continues receives ample support from his family, including his sister who has been there, putting aside her own issues to support him.
Again, their father, a dispatched Little League coach, despite a great degree of frustration, due to the experience that his daughter, and other girls, have had to endure, is committed to the idea that Little League can be the place that they claim includes girls as their web site indicates, here.
But, it is my understanding that girls across the country are not encouraged to participate in Baseball, encouraged to play Softball, and if a girl shows up at a Little League sign up session they are not, generally, informed that Baseball is an option for them, despite the overwhelming numbers of girls participating in Softball.
Check out the summary of a survey taken in the mid-west, here.
If you want to see the actual survey, then contact the author at that web site.
It may seem that I’m grandstanding. But, Major League Baseball makes efforts to include girls and women in Baseball, yet not as equal participants. Everywhere that a girl or woman is mentioned these days it is to promote the effort to keep the revenue stream coming in – but not to find a way to include girls on the field in the great American pass time: with hardball in hand.”
Campeonato Panamericano del Béisbol Femenino – Valencia, Venezuela del 3 al 20 de Noviembre de 2009
Breaking news – Google search “panamericano beisbol femenino”
Mike Madrid presents The Supergirls: Fashion, Feminism, Fantasy, and the History of the Comic Book Heroines, an exploration of what it means for the culture when superheroines do everything the superhero does, but in thongs and high heels.
Book available on amazon.com:
As the convoy rumbled up the road in Iraq, Specialist Veronica Alfaro was struck by the beauty of fireflies dancing in the night. Then she heard the unmistakable pinging of tracer rounds and, in a Baghdad moment, realized the insects were illuminated bullets.
She jumped from behind the wheel of her gun truck, grabbed her medical bag and sprinted 50 yards to a stalled civilian truck. On the way, bullets kicked up dust near her feet. She pulled the badly wounded driver to the ground and got to work.
Despite her best efforts, the driver died, but her heroism that January night last year earned Specialist Alfaro a Bronze Star for valor. She had already received a combat action badge for fending off insurgents as a machine gunner…
Lisa Bodenburg, shown in Iraq in 2008, is a Marine sergeant who is one of the few women to be a crew chief on a Huey helicopter – Courtesy of Cheryl Bodenburg
1988 The rule “excluded women from noncombat units or missions if the risks of exposure to direct combat, hostile fire or capture were equal to or greater than the risk in the units they supported.”
1994 Defense Secretary Les Aspin rescinded the Risk Rule, saying, “Service members are eligible to be assigned to all positions for which they are qualified except that women shall be excluded from assignment to units below the brigade level whose primary mission is to engage in direct combat on the ground.”
Welcome to PowerChalk, the web’s only video analysis tool that delivers voice, video control and markup! No software to install, no manuals to read – just upload your video and start telestrating.
Do, Upload, Analyze and Improve. Registration is free!
Players, sign up now and tell your coach to meet you on PowerChalk. Coaches, upgrade to a Pro account and take a quantum leap in advancing your players. PowerChalk allows you to upload your videos or to load YouTube clips. The PowerChalk interface lets you record detailed coaching and analysis on top of video clips and to render the coaching session as a new video. Attach the video to your account, your blog or your iPhone. PowerChalk is visibly changing sports instruction…
May 5, 2008:
Lucy Calautti, Director of Government Relations, Major League Baseball
June 18, 2008:
Andrea Larson, Corporate Communications Manager for the Minnesota Twins
June 26, 2008:
Amber Theoharis, Sideline Reporter for the Baltimore Orioles
July 10, 2008:
Pam Gardner, President of Business Operations for the Houston Astros
August 4, 2008:
Jenifer Langosch, MLB Beat Writer for the Pittsburgh Pirates
September 11, 2008:
Chartese Burnett, Vice President of Communications for the Washington Nationals
November 5, 2008:
Cheryl Zimmerman, Mother of Ryan Zimmerman
January 6, 2009:
Tatiana Tchamouroff, Massage Therapist for the Washington Nationals
February 5, 2009:
Jane Heller, Author of Confessions of a She-Fan: The Course of True Love with the New york Yankees
Cait Murphy, Author of Crazy ‘08: How a Cast of Cranks, Rogues, Boneheads, and Magnates Created the Greatest Year in Baseball History
Beth Jarrett, Athletic Trainer for the Harrisburg Senators
Samantha Newman, Acquisitions Manager for Donruss
If you have suggestions about other women we should cover in this series, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Best Baseball Story of the Year – by Mary Jo Stegeman, Founder, Chicago Pioneers
The best baseball story of the year did not take place at Yankee Stadium, Fenway Park, or Wrigley Field. It did not happen at the College World Series, World Baseball Classic, or in Williamsport. The best baseball story of the year happened at the beginning of September, when young players ought to be in school. It happened at a place in the middle of nowhere, in a “Brigadoon-like” setting where the mist gently rolled in each night and the fields disappeared, and where the fog burned off by the morning sun each day so baseball could be played. It happened in a place where dreams come true everyday for 12 or 13 weeks each summer and where, during this particular week, a miracle took place.
“They” said that girls, except in the 40’s and 50’s, could not play baseball. “They” said girls are not strong enough or big enough to play the game the way it should be played. “They” said America’s pastime was for boys and another sport altogether was baseball for girls. And “they” said this even though it is 2009, in the country known around the world for liberty, justice, and opportunities for all, where baseball is the national pastime…”they” said it and believed it in the United States of America.
So what magical thing happened during this 13th week of summer in the 14th year of Dreams Park? What miracle took place at the inaugural Cooperstown Classic? Thirty-three boys baseball teams and one girls baseball team, the first United States’ girls baseball team to play at Cooperstown Dreams Park, played the game they love to play. For the first time in the United States, an established girls baseball team experienced playing baseball like so many generations of boys have been able to do.
The Chicago Pioneers played baseball under blue skies, in the late summer sun, and on a team with teammates of their same gender and peer group. Girls played all the field positions, girls were part of all the dugout conversations, girls were on the receiving end of all the coaching strategies, and most of all, these girls of summer, these baseball girls were not asked why they were not playing something else (softball). OK, maybe a few were asked this, but when asked, the girls replied proudly and matter of factly, “Softball is a different sport; I play baseball.”
Many players, parents, coaches, umpires, park staff, spectators, and lovers of baseball witnessed their first games played by a baseball team of all females. I think many were surprised to see for themselves that girls can hit with bases loaded, can pitch one-hit shutouts, and can lay down the perfect bunt. They were surprised to see that girls can make double plays, make diving catches in the outfield, steal bases, hit walk-off hits, pick off players, throw out greedy base runners from center field…in other words, many were surprised to see that girls can play the game… right.
Hence the miracle of the 13th week at Dreams Park in 2009. The Chicago Pioneers girls baseball team played baseball and was accepted by the coaches and players of the other teams as a good baseball team…..mind you, not a good girls baseball team, a good baseball team. The girls played games, just like the boys; traded pins, just like the boys; won and lost games, just like the boys; ate pizzas and had fun playing baseball, just like the boys.
The overwhelming and inexplicable acceptance of the Pioneers by those at Cooperstown Dreams Park that last week of summer in 2009, was nothing short of a miracle… a miracle experienced by those 34 teams, their parents, friends, and coaches, the park staff, umpires, and those others lucky enough to have been there to see what “they” have said could not be done…. boys and girls teams playing baseball together and accepting each other as equals.
This is the story that “they” do not want to tell; this is the story that “they” do not want to cover. Girls not only want to play baseball, they can and are playing baseball, and not just in Chicagoland. Girls are playing baseball across the United States and around the world. Just like any other, baseball is a sport and girls want to play it. And not as an individual girl on a boys team or an individual girls team in a boys league, but the way boys and girls play all their other sports…. on teams and in leagues with players of their own gender and peer group. This is the girls dream, but for now they have to be happy just being able to play the game they are passionate about playing for as long as “they” will let them. And so you ask, what are their dreams…the girls I mean…their collective dreams are not much different than the boys…to play baseball in high school, receive a college scholarship, and play in the majors, of course. Cooperstown Dreams Park allows the girls, just like the boys, to keep dreaming that dream.
As the founder of the Pioneers, I am often asked why am I doing this and what is my dream? I am doing this so that girls do not think that there is something they cannot do because of their gender. If a girl thinks, because of her gender, she cannot do something like play baseball, as she grows up what else will she think she cannot do? For like in just about any career she could choose or any path that life’s journey will open up to her, the ability to play baseball has nothing to do with, among other things, a person’s race, creed, eye color, hair color, height, nationality, shoe size, or gender.
And my dream? My dream is that in 5 or 10, 20 or even 50 years from now, there will be no need for an essay like this, because girls baseball will be as common and everyday as girls soccer, hockey, bowling, golf, tennis, swimming, volleyball, track, lacrosse, water polo, boxing, skiing, fishing, snowboarding, speed skating, figure skating, gymnastics, basketball, …you get the idea. My dream is that girls will be able to begin playing baseball in little leagues of their own and continue to play, if they so choose, in high schools and colleges, because they enjoy it and there are girls high school baseball teams and college scholarships. “They” also say, this is impossible…I say, ” ‘There’s a first time for everything…things are happening everyday.’ ”
One last thing, “they” say. “They” say, “There’s no crying in baseball”. Well again, “they” are wrong. I saw for myself tears welling up in the eyes of grown men and women as they witnessed our nation’s pastime being played as it could be – as it should be, by all those who truly love it, male and female. After all, how can something be called a national pastime if only half the population is welcome to play it?
Those at Cooperstown Dreams Park during the 13th week of summer in the year 2009, experienced a remarkable thing, an extraordinary thing. 13 teammates who just happened to be girls played real baseball, and those boys who played with them on the same fields, accepted them and played them just like they would any other baseball team. It is now up to those who were there and were witnesses, to spread the news of this miracle that “they” are not interested in telling. It is up to us because by virtue of being there, we can testify because we saw with our own eyes and now truly believe that “Baseball = Girls, too!”
May God Bless You All!
Mary Jo Stegeman, Founder
Chicago Pioneers Girls Baseball Program, established 2006
GPB Editor’s note: In the case of both articles, above, it is incorrectly stated that the Chicago Pioneers 12U division team is the first all-girl team to play in Cooperstown Dreams Park (CDP). Actually, the BaseballForAll / Women’s Baseball league, inc., Sparks have been playing at CDP in 2003, and each year since. However, the claim of being the first US team is accurate: the BFL/WBL Sparks has included girls from around the world, but mainly, both USA and Canada.
she throws like a boy
better than a boy
she throws every day
her motion is picture perfect
her eyes on the target
i love watching her pitch
she’s my daughter
i taught her this skill
she’s better than i ever imagined
nothing bothers her on the mound
it’s her domain
her safe haven
her God given talent
she is happy on the mound
no better place to be
she lifts her leg high
she follows through
she throws nothing but strikes
fast and slow
never down the middle
she pitches to win
a great teamate
a baseball player
best in the world
Girls Play Baseball – Your own Web Site
This site can inspire the girl who prefers Baseball. Her family, friends and community can find information to connect with her, to help her reach her goals.
Where to Play – With Boys, Girls…
Coed Youth Baseball – Find a local team and play: with other girls and boys.
All-Girl Baseball – Some communities have teams and leagues just for girls. Most are in countries outside of the USA. There are a few existing opportunities to play Baseball with other girls. If you are asking yourself, “Why, if Baseball is the American National Pastime, aren’t more opportunities for girls to play the game their brothers, friends and cousins play?”
What are you going to do about it?
…with Men and Women
When you reach the age of 14, many of the All-Women’s Baseball organizations can offer you a place to play with women. Otherwise, if you are 18+, there are a number of nationally based, Coed (or, mostly men’s) organizations that will support your choice to play Baseball. Women who have a background in Softball are encouraged to consider Baseball as a mature option, considering the continued or renewed desire to play competitively, rather than only recreationally, in local Coed or All-Woman Softball leagues.
How to Play – Better: Internet and Print Resources
Most web sites that share great information on how to play only show boys – but the way to play is the same, so: if you can get past the fact that girls are not usually seen in the pictures and videos, you can learn a great deal on the Internet that you can bring to your team practices. But, there is one book published and available through some online resellers just about and for girls learning fundamental BASEBALL skills.
Teach and train me, Coach!
Many coaches are available for hire on a one-to-one basis. Any local Baseball/Softball facility contracts the services of many coaches with whom you can schedule a session. All Youth Baseball training organizations, although they don’t specifically encourage girls – at least won’t discourage you – from participating. However, most sleep away programs have issues accommodating girls when most of the, or all other, players are boys.
A fun event for you and your girl (and boy) friends:
Get together with other girls and have a coaching session, maybe as a birthday party activity: there are many coaches who would be happy to make it happen for you. Many training facilities have party packages and space available for refreshments.
Girls Playing Baseball – in the News
We share links to many stories found in international, national and local newspapers posting their stories on the Internet.
It is the Law
Your right to play in any type of league in the United States is protected by the U.S. Constitution. There are other laws providing added protection to you in specific arenas, such as Title IX, which that preserves your opportunity to try out for your Middle School High School, or College (otherwise boys’ or men’s) Baseball team.
Even with your rights are protected, nothing can replace your commitment to the team and your willingness to go the distance; working your hardest, without injuring yourself; performing your best, to make the cut: to get off of the bench, and into the game – and being committed to yourself.
Baseball can be as challenging, rewarding – and as fun – as any other sport girls thrive in!
The Girl in Centerfield
Promo for the upcoming Stunt3 Multimedia documentary film, “The Girl in Centerfield”, the story of Carolyn King, the first girl to play Little League baseball. For more information, visit thegirlincenterfield.com. Although filming has begun, we are still seeking investors to join us in this project.
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…”
Book search for Elaine Weddington Steard – from books.google.com:
Over the years, I have reached out to various lead organizations in attempts to break through the barrier for girls to gain equal support as Baseball players.
Major League Baseball, the Boys & Girls Clubs of America; KPMG: all, seem content actively supporting girls only in Softball and peripherally, in Baseball, not admittedly denying access.
First, in the Winter, 2008, as the MLB Network began its pre-season broadcasts, a significant number of PSA ads supporting the three partners to promote the goodwill efforts of the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, and repeated significantly, appeared between each 15 minute segment.
The include mostly boys – but, interesting: two of them feature girls.
Another PSA includes a row of girls in the dugout who jump up at the end of the clip: each wearing street clothes; clearly, in a MLB Baseball dugout.
When I saw these clips for the first time – and amazed at the frequency: I nearly did flips in my living room!
All indications lead to the conclusion that Major League Baseball was serious about including girls in the Great American Pastime, not marginalized in a game similar to Baseball but NOT Baseball, as the Commissioner of MLB had deemed the strategic imperative to bring girls, mothers and families, together, in filling seats, buying hot dogs and memorabilia representing each community’s favorite MLB team.
But, the crux is: we are talking about supporting girls PLAYING Baseball – not just OBSERVING it.
From the PSA, it is clear that intelligence is not the divisive factor: the girl represents a well-informed Baseball fan, who can recite Dan Haren’s 2007 record verbatim, focusing on the high points, as she lifts his spirits up.
The positive, joyful energy that permeates the the PSA, in the vibe between the two of them, emanates from the TV.
So, what is going on: why is MLB demonstrating an awareness that girls are interested and able to play; are intellectual equals and demonstrate a physicality not unlike the boys: there is no discouragement in the ads.
Well, while in a couple of the adds, girls do appear prominent, the majority of PSAs in the campaign; the majority of the players in the ads are boys; playing on teams with no girls.
In one of the PSAs, a boy with very long hair appears and could be a girl, as he is somewhat obscured as the camera is pulled back at a distance. But, it isn’t a girl.
I recognize that MLB is supporting boys as peers in the majority of these commercials; this is an important effort to include boys, to tell them they matter, providing a safe, healthy alternative to other activities that can lead to despair and incarceration if not life-time prison terms, in California, for example, under our Three Strikes You’re Out law (no pun intended.)
However, the extreme position, a strategy to secure positive resources for boys, in areas of each community that may suffer serious job loss; empty homes; crime and illicit drug use, does not get MLB off the hook for failing to support girls equally.
Without over-reaching, the official position of the Office of the Commissioner of Baseball set the trend long ago, when Kenesaw Mountain Landis, in 1931, banned women from Baseball, as they were considered, by him, “too strenuous”.
I have brought this to the attention of readers a few times in the past 5 years: it isn’t news, but it is relevant in stating it, here, to support the main point of this article.
What is fundamentally amazing about the foundation underneath the claim I am making: MLB supports the two Amateur Baseball organizations that, supposedly support women in the game of Baseball, albeit playing among women and not among men:
When I say “support” I mean financially, to the extent that MLB does support each, financially.
But, we need a context for how each “independent” organization “supports” girls and women in Baseball.
the mission of USA Baseball is to oversee all amateur Baseball, through a certain, eligible age range, from 14-18, and a Collegiate division.
There are predominantly 9 Youth Baseball organizations in the USA that the USA Baseball organization supposedly has a handle on.
However, girls are entirely not represented officially, openly, among their ranks.
If you were to challenge each leadership overseeing the respective organization, they would confirm that girls do play among the teams but each does not have the authority to require a given team, manager or coach to include 50% girls, regardless of skill level.
This is the crux: if the girls are not playing, they don’t develop the skills; they will not be selected by the respective teams that comprise the respective organization, nationwide.
If USA Baseball’s mandate is to oversee the Youth Baseball Universe, then they are culpable in not enforcing the legal right of girls throughout the Nation to be playing at an elite level.
It is only USA Baseball who can hold their collective feet to the fire.
There is more to the story of USA Baseball’s role in supporting girls and women in Baseball – we will return to their story, later.
The International Baseball Federation (IBAF):
You may or may not know that Baseball will not be returning to the International Olympics in 2016. You may not have known it was ever in the Olympics, let alone, that it was removed for the 2012 Olympics being held in England.
But, it has been the mandate and mission of the IBAF to manage the process of getting Baseball back into the Olympics, which it was unsuccessful at doing at least for 2016.
This past Summer, with a few months left to encourage the selection committee of the IOC to include Baseball again, the IBAF leadership got the religion of supporting girls and women, worldwide, in playing Baseball, even, at a level that could warrant TV coverage, worldwide.
To the credit of the IBAF, there are two efforts intended to bring such high-level Women’s Baseball to the public: each two-year qualifying period brings the Women’s Baseball World Cup, cycled among different countries that feature a strong enough Women’s Baseball program.
If you are not aware, Japan, Canada and Australia support, in resources including money and facilities, girls and women in Baseball to a similar extent as boys in each country. Yet, culturally, there is still great disparity between support in the minds of their respective citizen. These differences should be considered reflective of each culture’s gender equity profile, if you want to get down to it.
The next effort underway is bringing Women’s Baseball to the World Classic.
Can one even imagine how the World will receive Women’s Baseball played at the same level of skill as the Men’s game, broadcasted over the Globe? With this possibility comes a great degree of commitment by all who can swing a bat; throw and catch a ball; who generate the energy that pervades the mind and body of the avid sports fanatic; of the amateur player considering the latest $400 Baseball glove and $400 Baseball bat.
Returning to the role Major League Baseball, Inc., plays:
the majority of funding of each, USA Baseball and the IBAF comes from the MLB – plain and simple.
If these two organization are not changing the game so that girls and women are included in Baseball, during the 15 training period that USA Baseball oversees; if the IBAF is unable to build and maintain Youth Baseball programs around the world leading to the highest caliber women playing the game in international World Cup championships in equal frequency to the boys and men:
then Major League Baseball, Inc., has summarily told each organization, through funding, not to support girls and women equally throughout the World.
There are many reasons they will sight as to why MLB supports girls in Softball and boys in Baseball.
But, the original point of this blog post was that, through the MLB Network, in association with the Boys AND GIRLS Clubs of America, with their commercial partner, KPMG, a change was apparent in supporting girls in the game of Baseball.
Between December 2008 and June 2009, the IBAF did not vehemently advocate for women to appear in the 2016 Olympics. When the International body representing Softball told the President of the IBAF, Harvey Schiller, in no uncertain terms, that Softball for Women would not join with Baseball for men in a team effort to submit both sports to the selection committee considering new sports: the IBAF got religion and began a systematic campaign to acknowledge that around 500,000 girls and women play Baseball word wide; that would be unconscionable to NOT support girls in playing the game.
It is (though not entirely) unclear the reason(s) why BOTH Baseball and Softball were not reintroduced into the IOC’s plans for 2016. Other sports were included, instead: 5-person Rugby; Golf and Women’s Boxing was added to the Men’s-only division.
What was fascinating about the effort that did emerge for a few months beginning the Summer 2009: supporters of girls and women in Baseball were asked to provide support for Baseball, in general, in the effort for reintroduction into the International Olympics, including, in the form of, Facebook groups, to which we were all encouraged to become “fans” of, registering individual support for the IBAF.
Similarly, it was considered a competition with the Softball community, as they, too, were building legions of Facebook supporters.
So, you may be asking, “What does the title Silence refer to?”
I have reached out to the IBAF leadership and have not received any response to my inquiries regarding significant issues of importance on these matters.
I have contacted KPMG and, after a bit of phone tag: have been waiting for months for a return call from someone underneath someone who was showing some interest in the matter I was bringing to their attention:
how can you endorse organizations that marginalize the access to Baseball for half of the World’s citizen?
I contacted our local Boys & Girls Club to discover if someone in the programming or leadership roles would be interested in partnering with us to build opportunities: it was suggested that I contact the schedule coordinator to see if there was room on the existing schedule to insert girls baseball.
MLB includes a significant program, Reviving Baseball in the Inner Cities (RBI) in partnership with KPMG.
Despite the original PSA featuring the single African-American girl and Dan Haren:
ALL IMAGERY ON THE WEB SITES; IN THE MEDIA EXCLUDE GIRLS FROM APPEARING ACTIVELY PLAYING BASEBALL.
Again, I contacted the leadership of the RBI program, in this case, and they, too, have not returned my calls.
Maybe, I should take it personally. Seriously: I don’t take it personally at all. For whatever reasons, the folks at the top in each organization that supposedly shares the same commitment as I do with this web site do not consider me a factor in sharing in the process of supporting girls and women in the game of Baseball.
Besides, who or what AM I, from their perspective? I am not a Sports Industry Professional; I am not well-funded Gender Equity Advocacy organization; I am not a high-profile Legal Outreach organization funded to go the distance protecting the legal rights of girls and women to guarantee access to the sport at least in the USA.
Yet, while these organizations that own, outright; promote the Great American Pastime; support kids in ensuring access to resources – either they or the kids’ parents fund – in Baseball:
They have not done what needs to be done to ensure access to Baseball for HALF OF THE WORLD’S population – and they don’t seem to want anyone to voice concern nor skepticism that they intend on doing so, openly, building support among those who favor the game for their daughters, granddaughters; sisters, mothers and aunts.
If our voices were heard, even by the organizations that supposedly support our interests, wouldn’t we see it reflected the media, with girls playing Baseball, either side-by-side with boys, or among themselves, in all-girl Baseball games?
Recently, I followed up with the VP of Communications with one of the top manufacturers of Baseball equipment. Earlier, in the year, I approached him for sponsorship money and equipment for a team of women Baseball players, from North America, heading to Hong Kong, for the annual Phoenix Cup tournament. The event included teams from Australia, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, and North America.
At the time I approached him earlier this year, he was clear that, particularly during this difficult financial season, there was simply no funding available at this time for any effort: regardless of gender, regardless of promise of terrific exposure for his company.
When I approached him last month, in September, he claimed that all sponsorship funds were allocated (although, he has never indicated when the application period is…). Here was his response:
In regards to your question about [our company] possibly sponsoring women’s baseball programs, our budgets are currently committed to a wide variety of other programs, so it is unlikely. We sponsor several dozen women’s college fastpitch softball programs as well as men’s college baseball programs. We also have a [specific organization’s] youth baseball sponsorship and we support disadvantaged youth baseball programs through [a prominent private youth baseball foundation outreach program] and [a program sponsored by a MLB team] and other MLB … programs that all support both boys and girls. We also send a significant amount of equipment to youth baseball programs in Latin America. We also support our men and women in uniform by sending baseball and softball equipment to U.S. troops in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Of course, if you or anyone would wish to send a proposal for sponsorship we would be happy to review and consider it with the caveat that our participation is unlikely because of budget constraints and previous commitments to other programs that fit our business strategy.
I followed up with this message to him:
As for sponsorship: the way you have described the current matrix of support you can see why girls and women who prefer baseball are always getting the short end of the stick – or small or no piece of the pie: it is always quid pro quo.
Even when speaking with those devoted to supporting girls and women in sports, they, too, offer up a level of empathy but, because of little or no request for information or support from the general public on where, when and how are to play baseball, they, too, don’t allocate resources, proactively, to demonstrate there is something there.
Of course, each organization you mention below legally supports girls as an option for them to play baseball if they prefer. But, what is interesting: none of them have really thought through how to ensure girls are aware they have the option available to them to play baseball. Not mentioned below, Little League will not require their republic of local or district representatives to mention, prior to or at the time of sign-ups that girls have the option of playing baseball or softball: they keep rather tight lips; in many cases, local reps will not even admit to themselves that girls have the option.
Are you aware that Japan allocated $1,000,000, annually, to support girls and women who may ultimately end up on their National team?
Did you know that the IBAF has formed a committee to develop baseball for girls and women, as a separate discipline that or boys and men – separate for the international or national softball industries – claiming that 500,000 girls and women play baseball – not softball, today: world-wide.
The matter of supporting girls in the USA by contrast with the support they receive in other countries is simply mind-boggling.
I am not suggesting that you as one vendor can change the world, but: you do have the option of including girls and women, in baseball not softball uniforms; playing baseball not softball along side boys; mothers coaching both boys and girls in baseball, as well as men as coaches, coaching both boys and girls in baseball, etc. There is a lot you can do to change the perception of the game in the eye and mind of the general public: without spending a dime donating equipment to anyone.
Then, it might make sense in the near-term when girls or their supporters approach you for donations for baseball gear.
Again, no reply – just silence…
Four soccer-playing girls on a team of 20 will rupture an ACL over the course of four years. That averages out to one girl every year who will go through reconstructive surgery, rehabilitation and the loss of a season.
This disturbing statistic comes from Michael Sokolove’s 2008 book, “Warrior Girls: Protecting Our Daughters Against the Injury Epidemic in Women’s Sports.”
Such devastating injuries are not limited to the female gender or the sport of soccer. According to a study released July 12 at the American Orthopedic Society for Sports Medicine meeting, 30 percent of baseball players who had “Tommy John” elbow reconstruction surgery in 2005 were high school-age pitchers. From 1991 to 1996, it was only 12 percent.
Some of these injuries could be explained by playing one sport exclusively year-round without any time off for strength training (see Jan. 14 Sparta Point). Other explanations include excessive flexibility among females that could lead to ACL injury (see Jan. 28 Sparta Point), and the role of overhead lifting in reducing elbow injuries (see Jan. 21 Sparta Point). However, one thing is certain: We cannot identify a major, universal factor that causes these injuries because every athlete has several factors that make them unique.
Your training program should address these individual intricacies. At Sparta, we use a very sensitive instrument called a Force Plate that evaluates athletes’ interactions with the ground during a jump. These interactions are a major source for increased performance and injury risk. If athletes are too quick or too slow off the ground compared to their peers, these extremes indicate a deficiency that needs to be corrected through specific training exercises.
Now I realize that only laboratories have access to such equipment, but the Force Plate only puts a number on what a good coaching eye can already see. These instincts serve athletes and us coaches well, as the exercises we generally dislike the most are the ones that we need to be doing more. Our quicker athletes are performing squats slower, and our smoother athletes are trying to sprint faster…
For 84-year-old Marcy Rothman, the world of journalism is practically unrecognizable.
As a “copy girl” and then-cub reporter for the New York Post, Rothman wrote scores for horse races on a giant chalkboard. Rothman has a hard time relating to media’s ever-changing landscape, as social media becomes more prominent.
While tweeting and blogging are becoming increasingly popular in news reporting, they are drastically changing the nature of sports journalism. Instead of waiting for the nightly news or the next day’s paper, fans can receive score updates as they happen. Helene Elliott, Medill ’79, a sports columnist for the Los Angeles Times, said she wonders about the sustainability of these burgeoning outlets.
“Who’s to say that tweeting and blogging won’t be outdated in a year or two?” she said. “If I knew, I’d be a multimillion dollar consultant. It’s constantly evolving.”
But Christine Brennan, Medill ’80, was quick to point out as readers and consumers demand news more and faster than ever, newspapers are shutting down in lieu of Internet news services…
Perry Lee Barber: The Woman Behind the Umpire Mask – By Kelsey J. Koenen – October 21, 2008 – womenspsortsfoundation.org
One of the first female umpires in baseball history shares her story about finding what made her passionate and what her hopes are for the women who follow in her footsteps.
University of Michigan head coach and Mets manager meet at home plate during a February spring training game with the first all-woman umpiring crew: Perry Lee Barber, Ila Valcarcel, Theresa Fairlady and Mona Osborne.
Perry Lee Barber’s path to professional sports didn’t start with childhood dreams. At age 27 she was thrown a curveball. The path it led her down, while unexpected, is one completely submerged in a love for the game. Over the past quarter century, Barber’s work as a professional baseball umpire has blazed a trail for women umpires and begun to chip away at one of the last sports careers presumed to be reserved for men…
After writing the post on Elaine Weddington, Perry Barber commented and sent me a long email thanking me for addressing the issue of women in baseball. Like most of you, I didn’t know who she was, but I guess, that exemplifies the lack of women in baseball and the lack of knowledge about those in baseball. Anyway, Perry Barber is an umpire that has worked baseball games from the littlest of little leagues to Grapefruit games. Not many women have been a part of baseball history, so I started asking her some questions and decided to make it more of an interview. She graciously accepted. Not only did she accept, but she sent me back such excellent (and very long) answers to about 10 questions that I will split it up into about 4 parts to make it easier to digest. Therefore, come back every day this week to learn more about this remarkable woman. Before we get on to the questions, I would like to thank Perry for taking the time to answer the questions and tell us about herself, baseball, and umpiring in baseball. For more on Perry Barber, go to her website and her blog.
1) Where did you get your passion for baseball?
From books! I’m an inveterate trivia aficionada and former Jeopardy! Champion (talk about Way Back and Gone – I was a champ back in the dark ages, in 1972 when I was still a teenager, on the original version with Art Fleming as the host and Don Pardo as the announcer) and became determined to beat my friend Barry Bell at baseball trivia. That was the sole, driving force behind my decision to educate myself about baseball, and for an entire year (1979 – ’80) all I did was read books about it. I could hold my own at rock ‘n roll trivia, but when it came to baseball I was at sea. (Barry, by the way, was working in the mailroom at William Morris, one of the big New York booking agencies back then. He graduated to and has been Bruce Springsteen’s booking agent for the last thirty years.) So I read and read and read, and from the first book about baseball I read (a collection of Ring Lardner short stories, You Know Me Al), I was hooked. It was like falling in love at first sight, and my love affair with baseball has long outlasted any of my other romances! The first five books that changed my life were: You Know Me Al (Ring Lardner); Five Seasons by Roger Angell; Eight Men Out, by Eliot Asinov; A False Spring by Pat Jordan; and The Men in Blue: Conversations with Umpires by Larry Gerlach. During that first year, I studied baseball as if it were a subject you learn in school, and never went to an actual game. I could tell you who was on third when Fred Merkle didn’t touch second at the Polo Grounds on September 23rd, 1908 (Moose McCormick,) but I couldn’t tell you why the third baseman would throw to first with a runner on third and two outs rather than trying to get the out on the baserunner. I didn’t know what a force play was…
The 2009 10 Women Campaign honors “Bridge Builders,” women who forge the essential connections between family, community, politics, economy, and culture – fly Away Productions – 10 Women
Straight-talk: this was simply the best organized and conceptualized event I’ve attended. It had warmth and connection, dignity, meaning and an absolutely appropriate ceremonial quality. Everything worked and I was so pleased, so proud to be part of it, right along with all my shyness!
– Kim Chernin, 2002 Awardee
The 10 Women Campaign is a biennial celebration of women whose work in law, politics, activism, business, philanthropy and the arts mirrors Flyaway’s mission:
• the integration of experimental forms with social and political content
• the empowerment of women where women’s voices remain an underserved element of public culture as a whole; and
• risk-taking as a way to expand women’s social, political and cultural identity.
The 10 Women Campaign builds a bridge between women in the arts and civic life. It is an evening of performances by Flyaway Productions and various guest artists and intimate, personal acceptance speeches by each of the awardees. Those who attend gain tremendous insight into the motivation and issues important to each woman that we honor. We also host a pre-event reception where guests are invited to meet and talk with the awardees face to face.
The 10 Women Campaign awards are presented by 10 leading women in the San Francisco dance/performance community. Through this aspect of the 10 Women Campaign, we are encouraging dance as a vehicle for community gathering. We also hope to bring visibility to female leadership inherent to (but often overlooked in) the Bay Area’s contemporary dance community. The 10 Women are nominated each year by the awardees from the previous year.
Nadine Ghammache – Director of Individual and Community Giving, La Peña Cultural Center
Jewelle Gomez – Author, Activist and Director of Grants & Community Initiatives, Horizons Foundation
Susan Greene PhD – Break the Silence Arts Project
Karen Heisler – Co-owner, Mission Pie and Co-founder, Pie Ranch
Audrey Hudson – Pile Driver Journeyman, Pile Drivers Local #34
Dr. Rupa Marya – Physician and Musician/Rupa and the April Fishes
Beckie Masaki – Executive Director, Asian Women’s Shelter
Lara Mendel – Founder/Executive Director, The Mosaic Project
Mestranda Márcia “Cigarra” Treidler – ABADÂ-Capoeira San Francisco’s President and Artistic Director
Mable Yee – Founder and CEO, EngageHer.org
The 2007 10 Women Campaign honored “Truth-Tellers” for their honesty, commitment to fight hypocrisy in their own sphere of influence and dedication to principled communication and service.
Claire Smith honored with Sam Lacy Legacy Award
Claire Smith has been selected to receive the Sam Lacy Legacy Award by the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum and Major League Baseball.
She will receive the award, which is given to the baseball writer of the year, on Jan. 30 at the Kansas City Convention Center.
Smith, the 2000 Mary Garber Pioneer Award winner, has written about baseball for more than two decades. Her career started at the Philadelphia Bulletin before she moved to the Hartford Courant, the New York Times and the Philadelphia Inquirer. She helped pen “Don Baylor: Nothing But The Truth, a Baseball Life,” and she was also invited by former Major League Baseball commissioner Fay Vincent to be part of a groundbreaking oral history project that benefited the Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, N.Y.
Since 2007, Smith has worked at ESPN as a news editor, working with the production teams during MLB game broadcasts.
“Claire has long been a pioneer for women in sports journalism, and her career in baseball is second to none,” AWSM president Jenni Carlson said. “We are so excited for Claire to receive the Lacy Award. She is most deserving.”
For more information about the award: http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20091024&content_id=7537958&vkey=news_mlb&fext=.jsp&c_id=mlb
In the world, there is enough opportunity for girls and women to play Baseball, in addition to Softball, that this site can give you a glimpse – and the hope – that you will play. soon.
But, the technology we use to build this site isn’t as user-friendly, some times, for both, me, the manager, and you, as I had hoped.
This is actually the second version of this site, the first one was abruptly closed down by the company that hosted it. Some of the areas of interest have still not been reintroduced, here, in this version of the site…
The International Female Baseball world is in transition. But, with the up-coming Pan-American games in Venezuela, in November 2009, it is clear that maintaining an English-only web site is not going to cut it.
For example, Alex Santiago, the most active member of the Puerto Rico Women’s Baseball entity, posts with commitment and clear passion to Facebook whenever there is something to share about the developments in his domain: almost daily!
When it became clear that Japan not only dominates the sport of Women’s Baseball – including a rather robust girls High School program – but funds well a year-long training program for an elite few: how are we going to cover that effort on this site if the current information is only in Japanese – but we cannot truly build a Japanese web-based effort without the cooperation and input, here, from those who are involved, day-to-day.
An annual event, which takes place in Hong Kong, now, each year, the Phoenix Cup (hosted by the Hong Kong Baseball Association) requires both English and Chinese coverage – or cooperation from the tournament sponsors and organizers to get the word out to the world, through this channel.
Australia and Canada’s respective National programs offer two distinct perspectives on how, in an English-speaking country one could roll out an effective structure to grow Baseball for girls and women, from the grassroots in the United States of America.
These are few examples to inspire with the awareness and stories of Female Baseball in all parts of the world for the majority English-speaking or reading world.
The major clean-up going on right now is in breaking down the International and the Domestic USA opportunities into clear categories, so we can build this resource center, creating opportunity and provide highlights that are so vibrant and tell the story of girls and women, across the planet, who are playing Baseball.
But, the most important goal is to make it even easier for you to find what you are looking for – and discover what you may not have considered even existed!
So, please be patient with us as we bridge the gap, extending our collective awareness of what is out there now – what has happened in recent history – and more about what is to come.
I discovered and devoured this book in 1990 – I had just begun working for an auction house in San Francisco, California, that specialized in Sports memorabilia, among other interests, such as Rock & Roll. One day, I looked down upon a collection the most beautiful Baseball cards, “Tobacco Cards”, as they are also referred to: each in mint condition, pastels printed on a cream-colored card stock, images of the greatest MEN playing Baseball at the turn into the 20th century.
Having the access to see, hold, some of the most historic bats, uniforms, gloves, baseballs – some even used by those I discovered that day in the cards; reading the book, taking a journey into Baseball’s past in Darryl Brock’s manuscript…:
If I Never Get Back by Darryl Brock – books.google.com
Havana Heat: A Novel – 1991- amazon.com
Evoking a bygone era when rail travel was the main mode of transportation in baseball, the Philadelphia Phillies rolled into Penn Station on a chartered train at about 6:03 p.m. Monday, but they were not looking to the past century for inspiration.
The last time the Phillies took the train to the World Series was 1950, when they were swept by the Yankees. But that dreary omen did not deter the defending champion Phillies from using the same mode of transportation that Philadelphia’s Whiz Kids took 59 years ago…
To increase the health, fitness and well-being of women and girls by making physical activity an integral part of their lives, where physical activity is defined as sport and exercise.
A society which encourages, enables and celebrates active and healthy women and girls.
Who will we work with?
Sports policy and strategy-makers at national and regional levels, to realize our mission and enable our vision.
We will authoritatively and creatively campaign to:
Make sport as appealing to women and girls as it is to men and boys
Make women aware of the importance of being active
Make fit and healthy women and girls social and cultural role models.
FIVE countries are expected to compete in the inaugural Under-19 Africa region girls’ cricket tournament in Dar es Salaam, between October 23 and 27.
The Tanzania Cricket Association (TCA) Chairman, Zully Rehemtullah, named the countries as Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Zambia and hosts Tanzania.
Rehemtullah said that the International Cricket Council (ICC), has given Tanzania the opportunity to host the championships after it was impressed by the country’s record in hosting high-profile events…
An 11-year-old girl with a big heart and an ambitious plan is doing what she can to help underprivileged kids play sports.
One night, not too long ago, Ashley Chester was at home watching the news with her parents.
One segment featured a piece on recent government cuts to sports funding, cuts that have directly affected several local sports groups.
The piece hit home with Ashley.
Her younger brother, Keith (eight years old), plays hockey, and his registration fees went up between $50-60 this season.
Like most families, the Chesters have found a way to keep him in the sport he loves, but it was anything but easy.
The Chesters run Puss n Pooch Pet Services out of the Chapman Auction property in Chilliwack. But with business slow, money tight and Keith’s hockey in jeopardy, mom Victoria recently took up a second job at the Harrison Hotel.
As she watched the news piece with Ashley, they talked about how some families can’t afford to keep their kids in sports, no matter how far they stretch their budgets.
“I just don’t think that’s fair,” Ashley said. “A lot of kids dream of growing up and playing big-league sports. But without funding, a lot of them can’t live their dream. It just really upset me a lot, because I play sports too.”
For a girl her age, Ashley has a remarkable grasp on the benefits of athletic endeavours.
She talked enthusiastically about exercise, and the chance to keep youths active and away from less desirable activities.
She is convinced her own participation in sports has made her a better student in the classroom.
So the thought of any children losing the chance to play was unacceptable.
Determined to do something about it, Ashley asked her uncle Paul for ideas…
Dodgers’ owner Frank McCourt fires wife Jamie – She had been the club’s chief executive. The couple announced last week that they had separated. Her attorney says the firing would be addressed in court. By Bill Shaikin – October 23, 2009 – latimes.com
Dodgers owner Frank McCourt has fired his estranged wife, Jamie, from her position as the team’s chief executive, triggering what her attorney said would be an imminent legal response.
“Jamie is disappointed and saddened by her termination,” attorney Dennis Wasser said Thursday. “As co-owner of the Dodgers, she will address this and all other issues in the courtroom.”
While Frank McCourt is pressing ahead with the business of the team, including Tuesday’s announcement of a long-term contract extension for General Manager Ned Colletti, Jamie McCourt is believed to be lining up investors for a possible effort to buy her husband out and gain sole control of the team.
In addition, she was believed to have started calling prominent baseball figures, with the intention of arranging meetings to discuss the direction of the team.
The McCourts announced their separation last week. Both McCourts, through their attorneys, have claimed ownership, setting the stage for a vigorous legal battle…
You might have guessed that the Library of Congress has the largest collection of baseball artifacts and memorabilia. But it’s not as if you are simply going to stroll in and sift through these holdings, unless you have a serious reason for doing so.
Others, you may be pleased to know, have done the sifting for you — putting together one of the most seductively designed books about the sport to come our way, “Baseball Americana” (Smithsonian Books/Harper Collins, $29.99). Foremost, on the title page, is Harry Katz, a former head curator of the Prints and Photographs Division at the Library of Congress, who now lives in Del Mar. He conceived of the book and wrote it along with baseball historian Frank Ceresi. Assistance on assembling the myriad images that went into this book came from Phil Michel, the manager of the Library of Congress’ archive of images at the Prints and Photographic Division. Wilson McBee and Susan Rayburn, editors in the library’s publishing office, are also credited as collaborators…
President Obama headed for the links again Sunday, but this time a woman joined him on the green.
Melody Barnes, the president’s chief domestic policy adviser, was part of Obama’s group of four, a rarity for a regular outing that has been dominated by the “boys” of the White House…
History came home to Ragersville last week. A baseball bearing the signature of Babe Ruth and Ragersville great and women’s baseball patriarch Alta Weiss, came back to Ragersville last week thanks to the generosity of Lois Youngen who was the owner of the ball since she was a young girl. In fact, it was a gift that Weiss bestowed upon Youngen after sharing lemonade and cookies with her many years ago. “She asked me if I would like a baseball that was signed by Babe Ruth and I was not going to refuse that,” Youngen explained to a crowd of more than 100 that gathered in the Great Hall of the Ragersville Zion United Church of Christ last Thursday night as a part of the Ragersville Historical Society’s annual banquet…
On August 3rd, I went to a minor league baseball game to root on the Lakewood BlueClaws and to play 25 chess enthusiasts simultaneously (while the baseball game was in full swing). There were so many interested players that my dad also took on 25+! I lost one, drew three and won all the rest. My dad had no losses and a few draws. My brother also came, so we decided to add a special twist to my simul. I gave each of my opponents a “Call an IM” pass, in which they could call Greg over and ask for advice. The opportunity to learn from an International Master was a big hit, although I squirmed every time I saw Greg generously mentoring over a board I thought was in the bag…
Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon, The
First Edition Release Date: April, 1999
Nine-year-old Trisha McFarland strays from the path while she and her recently divorced mother and brother take a hike along a branch of the Appalachian Trail. Lost for days, wandering farther and farther astray, Trisha has only her portable radio for comfort. A huge fan of Tom Gordon, a Boston Red Sox relief pitcher, she listens to baseball games and fantasizes that her hero will save her. Nature isn’t her only adversary, though – something dangerous may be tracking Trisha through the dark woods.
We’ve written about a lot of ladies throwing out the first pitch this baseball season. LA Sol Soccer player Marta, golfer Michelle Wie, and Sparks players Delisha Milton Jones and Tina Thompson graced the blue carpet by throwing out the first pitch at a Dodger Game. Serena Williams showed up to toss the pitch out at a recent Yankees game while Jackie Joyner Kersee and Cammi Granato had the honors at a pair of Chicago games. And tonight, golfer Natalie Gulbis threw out the first pitch at an Oakland Athletics game…
SIMON WOODS, who is 6, would like to play on a baseball team. His mother, Sharon Astyk, is sympathetic, but is also heavily committed to shrinking her family’s carbon footprint. “We haven’t been able to find a league that doesn’t involve a long drive,” she said. “I say that it isn’t good for the planet, so we play catch in the yard...”
I have had similar concerns and am wondering how we can all reconsider the need to travel far from home but achieve similar gains and goals for our children who love (the idea) of Baseball.
In this story, the most promising element: parents throwing the ball around the yard with their kid…
Story from the 2008 Nike Women’s Marathon:
The history of women and girls in the sport of baseball, though it goes back to the time of the game’s development in the U.S., has been largely absent from most books, documentaries and other baseball scholarship.
Jennifer Ring, Ph.D., professor of philosophy at the University of Nevada, Reno, and author of Stolen Bases: Why American Girls Don’t Play Baseball (Univ. of Illinois Press, 216 pps.), took some time recently to talk to BaseballDigest.com to reveal some of that history, as well as discuss her motivations for writing the book, the first to delve into this topic.
BBD: Has women’s baseball in other countries developed differently than in the U.S.? If so, how?
JR: I think baseball is more available for girls in Japan, Canada and Australia because it isn’t so closely associated with their national identity…which of course is ironic. If the United States claims to have invented baseball, and if it’s America’s national pastime, why do we resist our girls’ participation in the sport?…
HUNTINGBURG, Ind. — At 5-foot-2 and 115 pounds, 16-year-old Marti Sementelli was the youngest and smallest of the five-time defending champion New England Red Sox trying to win another title Monday at the American Women’s Baseball Federation national tournament.
But she cut an imposing veteran presence on the mound, as she hurled the Red Sox to their sixth straight championship, a 2-1 squeaker over the Washington, D.C., Thunder, and was named tourney MVP.
Such achievements aren’t new to Sementelli — her pitching exploits, against either boys or the world’s best women players, have landed her on the “CBS Evening News,” “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” a Nike TV commercial and in a New York Times article…
Date: Tue, Oct 13, 2009 at 9:08 AM
Obituary: Lillian Hlavaty Sadavage, AAGPBL
FROM: The Scranton (PA) Times ~ (Paid obit)
Lillian Hlavaty Sadavage, formerly of Jessup, died Sunday in Bryn Mawr Hospital following an illness. She was the wife of Joseph A. Sadavage. The couple was married for 49 years.
Born and raised in Jessup, daughter of the late Joseph and Helen Ritzco Hlavaty, she was a 1950 graduate of Jessup High School, where she excelled in softball with the Mid-Valley Girls Softball League. She later continued her baseball career as a member of the illustrious
Rockford, Ill., Peaches of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League. She traveled with the team as a shortstop for two years.
A former member of Holy Ghost Byzantine Catholic Church, Jessup, she resided for most of her life in the Midvalley area. Recently, she and her husband moved to King of Prussia with their daughter and son-in-law. She was a member of St. Mary of Czestochowa Church, Eynon, and before retirement, she was employed by WEA Manufacturing.
She enjoyed her free time as an avid New York Yankees fan, especially following Derek Jeter. She was a lover of animals, especially her beloved cat, Poppers.
Also surviving are a daughter, Leeann Sawicki and husband, Robert, King of Prussia; a sister, Joan Patrick, Jessup.; a brother, Joseph Hlavaty, Moosic Lakes; nieces, nephews and cousins.
The funeral will be Friday at 8:30 a.m. from the Arthur A. Albini Funeral Home, 1003 Church St., Jessup, with Mass at 9:30 in St. Mary of Czestochowa Church, Main Street, Eynon. Interment, Holy Ghost Byzantine Catholic Cemetery, Jessup.
Relatives and friends may call Thursday, 5 to 8 p.m. Memorial contributions may be made to breast cancer research.
Huntingburg and Jasper, Indiana hosted five elite teams from across the country; The New England Red Sox won their sixth national title.
Five teams traveled to Dubois County, Indiana and played their national championship series at League Stadium – the scene of the famous movie “A League of Their Own“. The teams and their origin leagues are:
2. San Francisco Bay Sox
4. Chicago Stealth
Tournament magazine – Requires PDF reading capability as this is a download
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BaseballForAll participated in 12U All Stars Tournament @ USTBA Newburgh, New York 2009:
Results – Requires PDF reading capability as this is a download
Picture Above: Lt to Rt: Manager Justine Seigal, Chelsea Baker (FL), Madeline Dickson (MA), Hannah (MA), Katie Burt (MA), Ciarra McCoy (FL), Mackenzie Wright (CAN), Jazmine Seigal (MA), Jillian Silvanic (NY), Courtney de Burgh-Thomas (Can), Harlee Donovan (CA), Abbey Donovan (CA), Nylah Ramirez (NYC), coach John Kovach.
Excerpt from BaseballForAll Blog:
The BFA 12u Renegades, competed in the Battle of the Bats Columbus Day tournament in Newburgh, NY. In 29 innings, our pitchers struck out 25 batters, hit 8 home runs, scored 33 runs, and stole 14 bases out of 17 attempts. BFA finished the round-robin in 2nd place but lost the play off game, after leading 7-2 in the 5th. What an exciting weekend!
About USTBA National
HAVANA, Oct. 9 (Xinhua) — The Cuban women’s national baseball team trained for the first Pan American Championship to be hosted in Valencia, Venezuela from Nov. 13 to 20, local sports weekly “Jit” said on Friday.
Jit said that also the national teams from six countries have confirmed their attendance to the tournament.
The favorite women’s teams at this tournament are Colombia, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Brazil, Cuba and Venezuela…
|Greg Stegeman||Skokie, IL||Manager|
|Victor Martinez||Chicago, IL||Coach|
|Gary Horwitz||Gurnee, IL||Coach|
|Alyssa De Chene||Alsip, IL||P, OF||52|
|Anna Hoppe||North Hero,VT||C, IF||82|
|Anna Schueler||Chicago, IL||P, IF||25|
|Ashley Sujkowski||Rossford, OH||P, IF, OF||9|
|Christie Spisak||Berwyn, IL||IF, OF||15|
|Danielle Pauly||Chicago, IL||C, P, IF||23|
|Eleanor Worley||Bellevue, WA||P, C, U||55|
|Hannah Accardy||Buford, GA||IF, OF, P||71|
|Jaymee Hannan||Louisville, TN||P, IF||51|
|Lauren Boden||Atlanta, GA||P, IF||5|
|Lindsay Horwitz||Gurnee, IL||P, IF||14|
|Madison Hanten||Alpine, CA||C, IF||77|
|MJ Lawson||Tucson, AZ||P, OF, IF||91|
|Natalie Martinez||Chicago, IL||OF, P||13|
|Sarah Jakubowski||Detroit, MI||P, C, U||95|
|Stephanie Boden||Atlanta, GA||P, IF||4|
|Susanne Boden||Atlanta, GA||P, OF||11|
|New England Red Sox|
|Alex Hebert||C, IF||1|
|Donna Mills||IF, P||14|
|Lilly Jacobson||OF, P||21|
|Melanie Taylor||OF, P||8|
|Sarah Gascon||IF, OF||4|
|Washington DC Thunder|
|Dave Fyfe||Alexandria, VA||Head Coach|
|Renee Hudson||Silver Springs, MD||Assist. Coach|
|Alex Voegele||Reston, VA||C, IF||12|
|Bonnie Hoffman||Reston, VA||P, IF||2|
|Carmen Dominquez||Falls Church, VA||IF||10|
|Codi Dudley||Manassas, VA||IF||27|
|Della Romano||Washington, DC||P, IF||14|
|Gaby Richeimer||Washington, DC||C, OF||9|
|Jennifer Hammond||Alexandria, VA||IF||1|
|Jennifer OíKeefe||Falls Church, VA||P, OF||24|
|Jennifer Robinson||Asheville, NC||P, OF||22|
|Jo Ann Kruger||Catonsville, MD||C, IF, OF||5|
|Kem Patteson||Baltimore, MD||IF||15|
|Mary Zajac||Alexandria, VA||OF||4|
|Rosie Anderson||Arlington, VA||P, IF||13|
|Shelby ìRedî Rhodes||Falls Church, VA||OF||18|
|Stephanie Ciulla||Arlington, VA||P, IF, OF||7|
|San Francisco Bay Sox|
|Melanie Laspina||Manager, U|
|Anna Fotianos||OF, IF|
|Courtney Zobac||IF, P|
|Heather Bauduin||P, C|
|Karen Hunger||C, P|
|Kitt Allenser||IF, P|
|Loni Alley||IF, OF|
|Rhonda Staton||OF, C|
|Victoria Rueles||P, IF|
|Lisa Lovitsch||Manager, Coach, U||1|
|Amanda Jensen||IF, OF, P||3|
|Ashley Pirani||P, IF||31|
|Brenda Mendoza||Manager, IF, OF||7|
|Charlotte Leblang||IF, OF||21|
|Jen Liu||Manager, P, IF||32|
|Jenn Zielke||C, P, IF||2|
|Jill Bianco||IF, OF||17|
|Megan Oswald||IF, OF||11|
|Savannah Schultze||C, P, U||8|
|Sofia Sianez||IF, OF||23|
|Valerie Morse||IF, OF||30|
|Zoe Magid||C, IF||14|
Although Donna Mills is “absolutely a Boston Red Sox fan,” saying “you have to be” if you live there, it was still the experience of a lifetime for her when she got to hold a New York Yankees uniform of Babe Ruth.
She got the chance because she can hit the ball hard and far, just like the Babe.
Mills was at the very top of women’s baseball in 2006. She played third base and batted clean-up for the USA women’s national team that won the Women’s Baseball World Cup in Taiwan. She hit a blistering .474, knocked in a tourney-high 13 RBIs, including four in the gold medal game, and was named World Cup Most Valuable Player. The sterling performance earned her batting gloves from the tourney a ticket to still be on display in the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y.
“I’m honored, to say the least,” said Mills. “But there’s another story to it.”
After Mills sent her batting gloves to Cooperstown, some friends went to see them, but reported back they were not on display. So Mills went, too, found out there had been a paperwork mix-up and delay, and was given a private tour of the hallowed hall’s off-limits basement artifacts as a good- will gesture.
“You wouldn’t believe all the stuff down there,” said Mills. “I had to wear white gloves to hold up Babe Ruth’s jersey. It was five times the size of me. And I got to hold his hat, and I put on Cal Ripken’s helmet. It turned out pretty well that there had been a delay in displaying my batting gloves. The baseball Gods smiled on me.”
Mills eventually saw her batting gloves in the basement, right next to Roger Clemens’ Astros hat. The gloves are now displayed in the Hall’s women’s baseball section.
Donna Mills at 2004 World Cup
Donna Mills was introduced to a Boston Red Sox crowd in 2006 at Fenway Park after being named MVP of the Women’s Baseball World Cup tourney won by the USA. At right is the Boston Red Sox mascot.
She was also honored in a Boston Red Sox pre-game ceremony at her beloved Fenway Park. “I was walked to home plate and introduced as the MVP of the World Cup,” said Mills. “That was pretty cool, just unbelievable.”
Mills has played with the New England Red Sox during their impressive string of five consecutive AWBF national champion- ships. The team’s record the past six seasons is a glittering 89-6.
She is a power hitter, although over-the-fence home runs are rare in women’s baseball. Mills can crank them to the warning track, and recalls hitting a 410-foot center field wall once on one hop, a clout that probably traveled 400 feet in the air. She’s planning to participate in the AWBF national’s Home Run Derby on Sunday, Oct. 11, in Holland, Ind.
Mills, 34, said her baseball career is “kind of winding down.”
She said it’s like a family playing for the New England Red Sox, and points out, “We wouldn’t exist if it wasn’t for our coach, Kevin Marden. The commitment he has made to us has been extraordinary.”
Mills was also a softball player, earning a college scholarship, and playing on the first U.S. Women’s Modified Pitch tourney team in 1993.
“But baseball is just a whole different game than softball,” said Mills. “The excitement, the smell of the grass, the dirt and leather. And the challenge of hitting the small ball.”
by Greg Eckerle – reprinted with the permission of Jim Glennie, Executive Director, American Women’s Baseball Federation (AWBF)
All my life, I always sort of wanted some sort of personified or anthropomorphic moral compass. You know, like a little devil or angel on the shoulder type of deal. Someone who would show me right from wrong and would tell it like it was. The problem was, I never really wanted a Jiminy Cricket.
I wanted a Jimmy Dugan.
After seeing A League of Their Own at a retro-standby drive-in movie theater in 1992, I was pretty certain that I needed someone around to tell me whether or not there was going to be any crying in baseball of if someone looked like a penis with that little hat on. Although, to be honest, even more than that I just yearned with all my being to be a Rockford Peach…
Donated in 1989, the All American Girls Professional Baseball League (AAGPBL) collection is one of the most broadly utilized at the Center for History. The 3,200+ piece collection consists of uniforms, equipment, photographs and ephemera of the 14 teams that participated in the League between 1943-1954. With the Hollywood production of A League of Their Own in 1992, public awareness and interest in the collection skyrocketed. Artifacts from the Center for History’s AAGPBL collection have been shown at the Women’s Museum, Dallas, Texas; the Milwaukee Historical Society; and the National Baseball Hall of Fame, Cooperstown, New York…
All-American Girls Professional Baseball League
The Northern Indiana Center for History is the national repository for the All American Girls Professional Baseball League (AAGPBL). The League, which was active from 1943-1954, was established by Philip K. Wrigley when the Office of War Information warned that the 1943 Major League Baseball season might be suspended because of the need for manpower for World War II.
In the spirit of the “Rosie-the-Riveter” campaign, Wrigley believed that women could fill the void left were the major league season to be canceled. He joined Branch Rickey and several small town entrepreneurs, and held tryouts for his new league, which attracted women from all over the United States and Canada.
The League began play in 1943 with teams in Kenosha, Racine, Rockford, and South Bend. By 1954, the last season of play, the League had expanded to 12 teams, all located in the Midwest. The teams included the Rockford Peaches, South Bend Blue Sox, Kenosha Comets, Racine Belles, Milwaukee Chicks, Minneapolis Millerettes, Grand Rapids Chicks, Fort Wayne Daisies, Muskegon Lassies, Peoria Redwings, Chicago Colleens, Springfield Sallies, Battle Creek Belles and Kalamazoo Lassies…