Craig: Vassar and beyond: Women and baseball in the 1800s

From Mary Craig at Beyond the Box Score on September 19, 2017:

“The progress of feminine fashion is becoming positively alarming,” wrote a Cleveland newspaper on December 18th, 1865. “And now,” it continued, “as we pass the irresistible damsels, wearing our own identical hats, boots, and collars… we shrink within our innermost fastnesses, and cling to our last remaining treasure, our beloved pantaloons.”

As women began to plot out paths of independence following the end of the Civil War, men became incensed and frightened that the all-male world would suddenly belong to women. When women began to seriously play baseball, the fear spawned a slew of articles like the one above, declaring that doing so disrupted feminine sensibilities, but asserting that so long as women continued playing in skirts, they, thankfully, could not be taken seriously. From there, men became determined to exclude women from baseball.

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Originally published: September 19, 2017. Last Updated: September 19, 2017.