Jackson-Gibson: The early women of baseball, Lizzie Stride Arlington and Effa Manley

From Adele Jackson-Gibson at Excelle Sports on October 13, 2016, with mention of SABR member Dorothy Seymour Mills:

Women in baseball are fairly topical nowadays with the all-new FOX series Pitch already making its mark on pop culture.  The series takes us on a fictional journey with an African-American athlete named Ginny Baker as she becomes the first woman to pitch in the MLB. And two years ago, the world was wowed by the young Mo’ne Davis who was the first girl to win and pitch a shutout in Little League World series history.

But did you know that women have been dabbling in professional baseball almost as long as men have? Today we look at two of baseball’s pioneers–Lizzie Stride Arlington and Effa Manley.

Lizzie Stride Arlington was the first of four women to play minor league baseball. In 1898, she signed to the Reading Coal Heavers in Pennsylvania. Ed Barrow, the general manager of the team noticed her when she pitched for the Philadelphia Reserves earlier that year. By the way, Barrow later became the president of the Yankees and he helped to turn Babe Ruth into the legend he is today. Barrow knew talent when he saw it, and Arlington turned into a quite spectacle.

On July 5 she pitched against Allentown and saved the game in the ninth inning. She didn’t give up any runs.

“She had become a sensation,” wrote historian Dorothy Seymour Mills. “More than a thousand fans came to watch her pitch against Allentown in black stockings and a knee-length skirt. The club owner exploited her presence, sending her onto the field in a carriage drawn by two white horses.”

Read the full article here: http://www.excellesports.com/news/women-of-baseball-arlington-manley/

Originally published: October 14, 2016. Last Updated: October 14, 2016.