Lange: Women love baseball; why doesn’t baseball love them back?

From Jeva Lange at The Week on September 10, 2018:

Nearly everyone can sing along to “Take Me Out to the Ballgame,” but almost no one knows that the lyrics are sung in the voice of a woman.

In the song’s virtually unknown first verse, baseball-mad Katie Casey belts out the demand that thousands of baseball fans sing on their feet every game during the seventh-inning stretch:

Katie Casey was baseball mad
Had the fever and had it bad
Just to root for the hometown crew
Ev’ry sou Katie blew
On a Saturday, her young beau
Called to see if she’d like to go
To see a show but Miss Kate said
“No, I’ll tell you what you can do”

“Take me out to the ball game
Take me out with the crowd …”

Women have belonged in baseball, whether as players or spectators, since long before “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” was written in 1908. But 110 years later, Major League Baseball is still an old-fashioned boys club. They might as well hang a sign on their door: No girls allowed.

Until MLB stops belittling female fans and athletes, that door will stay shut. This is a shame. Women love baseball — some 45 percent of fans were women when surveyed by the league back in 2010. The number is likely even higher now. They deserve to have the sport love them back.

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Originally published: September 11, 2018. Last Updated: September 11, 2018.