Wednesday, November 16, 2005

A Book Worth Discussing

SAINT PAUL, Minn.- I am currently reading, Breaking Into Baseball: Women and the National Pastime by Jean Hastings Ardell. The forward was written by former Northern League Saint Paul Saints pitcher Ila Borders. I chose this book as a recent read for a United States history class book review I was assigned.

Breaking into Baseball: Women and the National Pastime explores the issues of women in baseball beginning with the origins of baseball, when women first fell in love with the sport, and the stereotyping of women in sports. Jean Hastings Ardell explores the character of the game and shares with you the women whom are pioneers in baseball paving the way for the generations of women to follow.

If anyone else has read or is reading this book please feel free to comment here and share your perspective on women in baseball. A few questions I’d like to pose for discussion to baseball fans and participants of all ages and genders alike: How do you feel about the segregation that exists in male dominated sports like baseball and football? We currently have women pioneers in NASCAR, Indy racing, golf and hockey to name a few sports. Do you feel as more women participate and work toward an end to the segregation which currently exists in male dominated sports that one day there will be women playing for the MLB and NFL? Why or why not?


Lisa said...

I believe Major League Baseball passed a rule back in the 70s that bans women from playing. This would have to be repealed before any woman could hope to make headway. I am not sure if this rule also applies to Minor League Baseball, but it seems likely.

Bill Lee (Spaceman), a pitcher for the Boston Red Sox during the 70's, was asked in a contemporary interview if he thought a woman could play in the major leagues. He thought that women could become pitchers, but would lack the physical upper body strength to compete directly with men in the other positions. He also credited his aunt, a former professional Women's League pitcher with the Dixie Peaches, as teaching him how to pitch.

Niki said...

Lisa, Thanks for the comment. I believe based on the information I have read so far the ban is still in effect and it went into effect after the AAGBL in 1952. Just for others information I found one reference to the banning of women in baseball from an introduction on the Science of baseball by Exploratorium called "THE GIRLS OF SUMMER" Here they briefly touch on a woman in 1952 signing a minor league contract that was voided and by the end of June organized baseball officially banned women from the minor leagues. Even though the ban may still be in place in my opinion the ban can't stay in effect forever. We have women who have not only proven we deserve to be treated equally in the work force but that women can and do all that men can do. The glass ceiling won't stay in place much longer as women prove themselves. No place is that more evident than with the incredible women serving in our military. Someday if I am lucky enough to have a daughter I hope to watch her grow up in a world where women can compete equally in all things. If she came to me and said she wanted to be a Major League ball player when she grows up I could tell her she can. Currently in my opinion I believe more time is being spent marketing our national past time to women and their families than actually getting women into the game as ballplayers. Whatever the future holds in this area it will be interesting to watch it unfold.

Niki said...

Furthermore if anyone wants to read documents about banning women in baseball please see the following links for the National Baseball Hall of Fame:
Signing of Woman Player by Harrisburg Brings Bar on Feminine Performers