Kay: How a Peanuts character became a fierce advocate for women’s sports

From Stanley Kay at Sports Illustrated on August 19, 2016, with mention of SABR member Justine Siegal:

Years before Justine Siegal became the first woman to coach in Major League Baseball, she began her days with a paper route, breakfast and the funnies page of the newspaper.

One of her favorite comics was Peanuts. Like the characters of Charles Schulz’s beloved strip, Siegal spent many childhood afternoons on a baseball diamond, playing pickup ball with kids from the neighborhood. But while Charlie Brown and Snoopy are the most prominent faces of a global brand, the character Siegal most identified with was Peppermint Patty.

It isn’t hard to see why. Peppermint Patty was a huge sports fan—she once replied to a teacher’s question about the four seasons by listing “baseball, football, basketball and hockey”—and an even more committed athlete. Introduced by Schulz in 1966, she was quickly established as the best athlete in the strip, boy or girl (or dog). She managed a baseball team only a few years after girls in America gained the right to play Little League.

Siegal, who made her MLB coaching debut with the A’s in 2015, initially didn’t realize Peppermint Patty was a trailblazer. Peanuts made it all seem so normal.

Read the full article here: http://www.si.com/peppermint-patty-peanuts-charles-schulz-female-athletes

Originally published: August 22, 2016. Last Updated: August 22, 2016.