Taylor: The case for bringing back Ladies’ Day

From Shakeia Taylor at The Hardball Times on December 14, 2016, with mention of SABR member Jean Hastings Ardell:

Last June, I assembled a crew of women–some old baseball fans, some new–to watch the Cubs play the Diamondbacks at Wrigley. Settling into the bleachers, we received a number of curious looks and comments from strangers fascinated by the sight of 18 women of various ethnicities decked in Cubbie Blue. Some of the women in my group were even keeping score. Why are you surprised that we’re here? What makes you think that women who grew up with baseball as part of their culture wouldn’t enjoy watching it or playing it?

Well, it could be that the average baseball fan is white, male and over 50. You can see this by simply turning on your TV and catching a game. Any team, any city. Nearly 50 percent of baseball fans are women, but almost no attempt is made to include women in the sport. The few efforts that exist tend to cater to the idea that women don’t know anything about the sport, and need to be taught enough to be good companions for the “real” fans. Men.

The exclusion of women in baseball, and professional sports leagues in general, is so glaring that it appears, dare I say, intentional. According to Dr. Richard Lapchik’s findings in the “2016 Racial and Gender Report Card: Major League Baseball,” women make up 28.9 percent of all front office employees. MLB has yet to introduce female umpires, while only seven women have officiated in the affiliated leagues. The mask of Ria Cortesio, who was the sixth female umpire, hangs at Cooperstown. Women should be included in all facets of baseball: officiating, commentating, writing and front office decision-making. And that is why I’d like Major League Baseball to bring back Ladies’ Day.

Read the full article here: http://www.hardballtimes.com/the-case-for-bringing-back-ladies-day/

Originally published: December 15, 2016. Last Updated: December 15, 2016.