De La Cretaz: Maria Pepe, the New Jersey girl who sued to play baseball with the boys

From Britni de la Cretaz at The Guardian on September 23, 2018:

Maria Pepe is not a household name, but hundreds of thousands of girls around the country have her to thank for the right to play baseball. This weekend, over 140 girls from the Northeastern United States have gathered in Edgewater, New Jersey, for the east coast’s first ever all-girls baseball tournament. That this is possible is due, in large part, to a 12-year-old girl who was told she was not allowed to play Little League ball and was brave enough to fight back.

In 1972, Maria Pepe decided to try out for a new Little League team with her friends in Hoboken, New Jersey. She’d grown up playing ball in the streets with the boys in her neighborhood and so, when the Hoboken Young Democrats held a tryout, it seemed only natural that Pepe would show up. “My friends all went in and signed their name and I stood at the door but my coach came out – his name was Jimmy Farina – and he asked why I wasn’t signing up,” Pepe told the BBC World Service in a July 2018 interview (Pepe declined to be interviewed for this story). “I looked at him and said, ‘You think you would take a chance and let me sign up? My name’s Maria.’ And he said, ‘Can you play? And I was like, ‘Yeah,’ there’s no question I could play.”

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Originally published: September 24, 2018. Last Updated: September 24, 2018.