Megdal: If she’s playing baseball, she ‘must be a badass’

From SABR member Howard Megdal at FanSided on May 31, 2018:

Two boys on my daughter Mirabelle’s Little League baseball team were sitting in the dugout during an early-season game, with Mirabelle nearby. One turned to the other, seemingly unprompted, and said: “Mirabelle’s better than you.”

I didn’t know if she’d heard it, and if she did, if she understood that the underlying idea — accepted implicitly by this group of eight-year-olds — that a girl could be better than a boy at baseball was surprising, noteworthy.

We didn’t set out to make Mirabelle the lone girl in her entire baseball league, nor, as far as I can tell from the games against teams from neighboring towns, the only girl playing at this age in the area. We’d recently moved from another town where girls playing tee-ball, as Mirabelle had, was the norm. I’d coached there, and even drafted several other girls to help Mirabelle feel more comfortable. But other teams had done the same, and without a softball program at that age, the heterogeneous mix went undiscussed and proceeded uneventfully.

By the time we arrived in our new town this past December, Mirabelle would periodically ask me, as the endless winter dumped more and more snow on our new home, when signups were for the coming baseball season.

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Originally published: June 1, 2018. Last Updated: June 1, 2018.