From SABR member Dorothy Seymour Mills at The Hardball Times on June 21, 2012:
When a guy says, “What happened in baseball today?” he refers only to male players and only to the two major leagues. A lot more baseball goes on outside those two leagues, and women are right into it, although the media lags behind in revealing their story to readers.
Women’s baseball history is full of dramatic events and fascinating players. Changes occur every day. When women players refer to “what’s happening in baseball,” this is what they are talking about.
In researching women’s baseball history, I realized that by the time of the thirties some women players had reached a high level of skill. Although some men continued to disparage women’s efforts and sneer at their accomplishments, others recognized good playing when they saw it.
Minor-league managers in particular actually tried to hire good female players for their teams. Guess who blocked them: Commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis.
Throughout history, athletic women’s aspirations have constantly been blocked.
Why is that important? Because it still happens today. Many baseball men have no idea that women possess a solid history in baseball since the 1860s, with each generation producing some good players who might have at least made the minor leagues if men had permitted them to show their talents. Today’s female baseball players (and umpires) have a hard time getting recognition for their abilities.
Read the full article here: http://www.hardballtimes.com/main/article/its-our-national-game-too/
Originally published: June 21, 2012. Last Updated: June 21, 2012.