Lewis: Inside the Women’s Sports School’s first baseball scouting weekend

From Alec Lewis at The Athletic on November 26, 2019, with mention of SABR members Jennifer Blatt and Johanna Wagner:

As the sun was falling behind the mountains beyond the Peoria Sports Complex’s biggest ballpark on a Friday evening last month, professional baseball scouts settled into pockets of seats behind home plate. They had arrived for an Arizona Fall League game, but first pitch was two hours away. So the scouts did what they always do. They sat and talked quietly with one another about their lives and their jobs and baseball.

Years-old pop music was fading in and out of the stadium’s speakers. Prospects were taking batting practice, but the stadium was otherwise empty.

The scouts behind home plate were — well, they almost always are — all men.

Their attention drifted between the prospects and their conversations. But at one point, they noticed a group of people who had trooped into the stadium behind the first-base dugout. These people carried notepads, stopwatches and radar guns. They all wore matching purple shirts. And they were all women.

While the prospects continued their pregame preparation, the women settled into seats of their own, beginning to watch the players with curiosity, the same way some of the male scouts sitting behind home plate were watching them.

Who were these women? What were they doing? Why were they doing it?

When asked, one of the women smiled and said, “We’re part of this weekend’s women’s scout school!”

Read the full article here (subscription required): https://theathletic.com/1406664/2019/11/26/inside-the-womens-sports-schools-first-baseball-scouting-weekend/

Originally published: November 26, 2019. Last Updated: November 26, 2019.