Women in baseball

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Women have a long history in American baseball and many women's teams have existed over the years. Baseball was played at women's colleges in New York and New England as early as the mid-nineteenth century;[1] teams were formed at Vassar College, Smith College, Wellesley College, and Mount Holyoke College.[2] An African American women's team, the Philadelphia Dolly Vardens, was formed in 1867.[3]

A number of barnstorming teams have existed,[4] and women have played alongside major league players in exhibition games. In the 1930s, 17-year-old Jackie Mitchell (originally known as 'Virne Beatrice Mitchell Gilbert') of the Chattanooga Lookouts struck out both Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig in an exhibition game. Commissioner of Baseball Landis voided her contract as a result.[5]

Women's baseball during World War II[edit]

During World War II, while the soldiers were away fighting, the baseball players were forced to join the army as it was not fair that other men were dying on the battlefield while others were swinging bats and hitting balls out on the diamond. While the original players left for war, the teams were left with no one. Philip K. Wrigley suggested that women were to replace the males, and play on the teams.

Women Executives in Baseball[edit]

Margaret Donahue is known as the first female front office executive in Major League Baseball who was not an owner. She worked for the Chicago Cubs from 1919 to 1958 and introduced concepts such as the season ticket and reduced prices for children under 12, both still used today. Since then, many women have held executive positions in business and financial areas of Major League Baseball. However, there have not been many women who have broken the plains of the player personnel. Though there are many women who have been hired as GM's for Minor League affiliates, these positions are not responsible for player personnel moves. This is handled at the Major League level.

One woman who has acquired a position in Player Personnel at the Major League level is Kim Ng. She first worked for the Chicago White Sox, where she successfully presented an arbitration case. After working for the American League as director of waivers and records, she was hired as Assistant GM by the New York Yankees. When she left the Yankees in 2001 for the same position with the Los Angeles Dodgers, the Yankees hired another woman to replace her, Jean Afterman. Afterman still holds the same position as of June 2014. Kim Ng has since moved on to work for Major League Baseball as Senior Vice President of Baseball Operations.[6][7][8]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Ring (2009), 33.
  2. ^ Ring (2009), 34.
  3. ^ Gems, Borish, and Pfister (2008), 145.
  4. ^ Cahn (1995), 38.
  5. ^ Ring (2009), 18.
  6. ^ Owens, John. "Female Cubs executive left her mark on the big leagues". 
  7. ^ Fluke, Cecily J. "Female Execs Step Up To The Plate". 
  8. ^ Borzi, Pat. "Women GMs mean business in Minors". 
  9. ^ Ring (2009), 169.

References[edit]

  • Cahn, Susan K (1995). Coming on strong: gender and sexuality in twentieth-century women's sport. Harvard University Press. ISBN 0-674-14434-1. 
  • Gems, Gerald; Linda Borish; Gertrud Pfister (2008). Sports in American History: From Colonization to Globalization. Human Kinetics. ISBN 0-7360-5621-1. 
  • Ring, Jennifer (2009). Stolen Bases. University of Illinois Press. ISBN 978-0-252-03282-0. 


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