Mills: Why can’t more women play baseball for pay?

From SABR member Dorothy Seymour Mills at The National Pastime Museum on January 16, 2014:

New research has shown that women and girls have been playing baseball in America about as long as men and boys. The feminine side of the sport is not as new as most people think.   

Those who discover that women are not new to baseball see this fact as curious but not earthshaking. What they really want to know about is the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League (AAGPBL) in which about 700 women played from 1943 to 1952 (the one featured in the hit movie, “A League of Their Own”). 

People wonder, ”Why don’t we have that league anymore? If women and girls have been playing baseball so long that they even had a professional league, how come they don’t have one now? Why did the women’s league stop playing?”

The league seemed solid at the beginning because Philip Wrigley, the rich owner of the Chicago Cubs who also owned a popular brand of chewing gum, founded it and got it going. Scouts, umpires, chaperones, equipment, uniforms, parks to play in — everything was organized and operating when the league opened for business. And as soon as fans learned about it through promotion and publicity and the league began to make money, they began coming to the ballpark out of curiosity and staying out of interest.

Read the full article here:

Originally published: January 16, 2014. Last Updated: January 16, 2014.