Frank: Before ‘Pitch,’ a woman breaks through scouts’ glass ceiling

From Noah Frank at WTOP on September 16, 2016, on SABR member Astrid DeGruchy:

Professional baseball is the ultimate old boys’ club.

Nepotism abounds in many facets of the sport, and as slow as change can come to the way the game is played on the field and perceived from the stands, it can be even slower behind the doors of the front office. While women have made strides on the business side at both the major and minor league levels, the baseball operations side of the game — the actual baseball — has been a different story.

The upcoming FOX drama “Pitch” depicts a near future in which a woman breaks the barrier on the playing field, as a pitcher for the San Diego Padres. In real life, the glass ceiling in baseball’s scouting side has been nearly as hard to shatter. A few women have attended MLB’s official scout school over the years, but until recently, the last full-time female baseball scout was Edith Houghton in 1951.

In January 2015, Astrid DeGruchy joined the short list of women scouts when she was offered a part-time Northeast region amateur scouting position by, interestingly enough, the San Diego Padres. Her hiring didn’t make as much news as that of Amanda Hopkins, who became the first full-time female scout in 60 years when the Seattle Mariners brought her on board 11 months later. But perhaps it should have.

Read the full article here:

Originally published: September 16, 2016. Last Updated: September 16, 2016.