Footer: SABR member Justine Siegal lets girls know baseball is for all

From Alyson Footer at on February 18, 2015, with mention of SABR member Justine Siegal:

When she was a kid, Justine Siegal never doubted where she fit in talent-wise with her baseball-playing peers.

She was 12 years old and she was good — one of the best players on the team. A year later, however, she had a new coach and a new set of challenges. The coach wasn’t that impressed with Siegal, not because she wasn’t talented, but because, well, she wasn’t a boy, and he simply didn’t think girls should be playing baseball.

“I don’t really want you on my team,” he told her. “I think girls should play softball.”

Siegal didn’t listen to him, instead deciding to use that painful experience as a life lesson that she would eventually turn into her life’s work. Siegal continued to play baseball, and she eventually parlayed her passion into the formation of an organization that was unheard of 20 years ago — Baseball For All, an outlet that provides assistance, instruction and encouragement for girls who want to play baseball.

“It was very lonely and difficult to play baseball,” Siegal remembered about her own childhood. “I just loved the game so much and I wasn’t going to quit for anything. But when I had my daughter Jasmine, just at 23 years old, I thought, ‘If she wants to play baseball, I want to give her those opportunities, without the discrimination, without the fight.'”

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Originally published: February 18, 2015. Last Updated: February 18, 2015.