Brudnicki: The present and future of Canadian women’s baseball

From Alexis Brudnicki at The Hardball Times on November 1, 2018:

So often, we hear about baseball players playing for the love of the game.

Whether it’s in reference to the grind of a long, major league season, the commitment of minor leaguers who are often paid a pittance to be on the field, or in the stories of amateur players in anticipation of the draft, the expression has never been more meaningful than in all the times it has been said at Women’s Baseball World Cup competitions.

Women have been playing baseball for decades, though the only professional league that currently exists is in Japan, where the most players can earn is a salary equivalent to a little less $20,000 USD per year. Nowhere else in the world are women paid to play the game, though Australia is attempting to begin its own circuit next year.

In most countries, female baseball players have to pay to play. Women on national teams playing at the highest level the sport has to offer them have to fundraise, scrape, ask for money, and look for sponsors, though some have assistance from their governing bodies. And that’s before having to secure the time away from their educational pursuits or professional careers to participate in selection camps and, if they’re lucky, the World Cup.

There’s hardly a player who knows what it takes to play women’s baseball at the highest level better than Ashley Stephenson. The 35-year-old physical education department head at the Dr. Frank J. Hayden Secondary School in Burlington, Ontario is one of two original members of Team Canada, and is the most vocal advocate for the game on the squad.

Read the full article here:

Originally published: November 7, 2018. Last Updated: November 7, 2018.