Woodrum: The physical obstacle for women in baseball

From Bradley Woodrum at The Hardball Times on May 29, 2014, with SABR members Justine Siegal, John Thorn, and Tim Wiles:

My wife is pregnant. Friends ask me, “Do you want a boy or girl?”

I answer, “It doesn’t matter. The child’s playing baseball either way.”

This is a joke, of course. I can no more force my child to enjoy baseball than my own artist father could convince me to prefer painting over mathematics. But there is a kernel of truth in there. I want all my future children to pursue athletics, especially baseball. And I do not want a matter of gender disqualifying them from the sports they like.

When I say, “I hope women will one day play in the majors,” I don’t say this with a passing fancy. I hope women play in the majors because, yes, I think it would be fun, but also I think it would be right.

Half of baseball fans are women. And they’re not there just to ogle Joey Votto‘s biscuits (and suggesting as much is offensive, so stop it, MLB apparel companies). This sport has a history of female athletes that predates the NBA and the Union of European Football Associations. Women love this sport; it is as much theirs as it is men’s.

In 2011, I wrote an article for FanGraphs suggesting that female athletes could be an untapped resource for baseball talent. To the delight of my family, the very first response to the article was an all-caps: “NOPE.”

Read the full article here: http://www.hardballtimes.com/the-physical-obstacle-for-women-in-baseball/

Originally published: May 29, 2014. Last Updated: May 29, 2014.