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  • Girl in baseball

    I heard that back in the '30s, there was a teenage girl who struck out Ruth, Gehrig, and somebody else in an exhibition game. As a result, women are banned from playing in pro baseball. Is any of this true?
    Originally posted by bhss89
    "Hi. My name is John. I'd like you to meet my fastball. Can you catch up to it?
    Didn't think so. I'll see you again tomorrow night around the top of the ninth."
    Originally posted by ChineseDemocracy
    Why can't they just air the doubleheaders? Those programs aimed at children are crap anyway.

  • #2
    Originally posted by blacksilverfan12 View Post
    I heard that back in the '30s, there was a teenage girl who struck out Ruth, Gehrig, and somebody else in an exhibition game. As a result, women are banned from playing in pro baseball. Is any of this true?
    I don't think it was because Jackie Mitchell did this. Women have played pro baseball (Lizzie Arlington, Toni Stone, PAmela Davis, Ila Borders), just not major league
    Mythical SF Chronicle scouting report: "That Jeff runs like a deer. Unfortunately, he also hits AND throws like one." I am Venus DeMilo - NO ARM! I can play like a big leaguer, I can field like Luzinski, run like Lombardi. The secret to managing is keeping the ones who hate you away from the undecided ones. I am a triumph of quantity over quality. I'm almost useful, every village needs an idiot.
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    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by RuthMayBond View Post
      I don't think it was because Jackie Mitchell did this. Women have played pro baseball (Lizzie Arlington, Toni Stone, PAmela Davis, Ila Borders), just not major league
      I've heard of women playing in independent leagues, but aren't they banned from playing in MLB?
      Originally posted by bhss89
      "Hi. My name is John. I'd like you to meet my fastball. Can you catch up to it?
      Didn't think so. I'll see you again tomorrow night around the top of the ninth."
      Originally posted by ChineseDemocracy
      Why can't they just air the doubleheaders? Those programs aimed at children are crap anyway.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by blacksilverfan12 View Post
        I've heard of women playing in independent leagues, but aren't they banned from playing in MLB?
        I do not believe there are any formal rules banning females from the major leagues. I could be wrong, though.
        Strikeouts are boring! Besides that, they're fascist. Throw some ground balls - it's more democratic.-Crash Davis

        Comment


        • #5
          I dont see why women would have been banned because of 1 women in 1 exhibition game.
          Is there any women in the minor leagues?

          Comment


          • #6
            Here is an old post of mine in Babe Ruth Thread.

            http://www.baseball-fever.com/showpo...&postcount=344

            I believe that Ford Frick banned women from playing in the Major Leagues, but I could be incorrect.

            Comment


            • #7
              If women are banned from MLB now, I bet the ban would be quickly lifted if a MLB-caliber woman player came along.

              Comment


              • #8
                19TH CENTURY

                Women have shown an interest in baseball from the very beginning. Some even came for the sport rather than male companionship. In turn, baseball sought women as fans for more than financial reasons. Baseball in the late 19th century was a rowdy game played by even rowdier men. Women spectators, hopefully, would keep the men in line and help clean up the sport’s image. Also, Ladies’ Days were initiated to draw a larger male crowd.

                Female barnstorming teams existed as far back as the 1860s. College programs paralleled the professional ventures. This is not to say that they were accepted by mainstream America. Then, as today, such women were scorned by many. They were often derided in the press as no more than prostitutes.

                Early exhibition matches would pit such teams as the “Blondes” versus the “Brunettes.” In Philadelphia in 1883 a team called the Young Ladies Baseball Club was formed. They would travel throughout the East Coast billed as an entertainment spectacle offering sideshow amusements in the same fashion as black teams of a later era. Traveling female clubs called “Bloomer Girls” were formed throughout the country. Though these teams did not play each other, they pitted their skills against various male opponents. Most Bloomer Girl teams consisted of both male and female members. In fact, Smokey Joe Wood and Rogers Hornsby started out as Bloomer Girls. The Bloomer Girl concept was very popular, prompting unrelated teams by the same name to pop up throughout the country. The concept drew fan attention well into the 20th century.

                Player
                On July 5, 1898 future Hall of Famer, New York Yankee dynasty builder and part-time showman Ed Barrow allowed Lizzie Arlington (a.k.a. Lizzie Stroud) to pitch one inning for Reading in the Atlantic League. As league president, Barrow reveled in the thought of promoting the first woman to appear in organized baseball. Arlington allowed no runs on two hits as the minor league’s first female. She was a student of Boston pitcher Jack Stivetts, also known as the best hitting pitcher of the 19th century.

                Front Office
                Women began joining the front office of National League teams in the late 1800s. Florence Knebelkamp, sister of Louisville owner William Knebelkamp, served for years as the club’s traveling secretary. Unusual for the times, she assumed the full duties of the position, not merely hand selected chores.

                On February 17, 1900 Mary Hamilton Van Derbeck gained control of the Detroit American League franchise and Bennett Park from the courts in lieu of unpaid alimony. However, her ex-husband George Van Derbeck quickly filed the required bond, regained control of the Tigers and sold the franchise prior to the American League gaining major league status, depriving her of a place in history.

                EARLY 20TH CENTURY

                Many Bloomer Girl teams traveled throughout the country in the first few decades of the 20th century. Maud Nelson was a long-time renowned organizer and the most famous of the early pitchers. Beginning her career in the 1890s, she pitched well into her 40s. Nelson became a constant on the diamonds lasting over forty years as a pitcher, third baseman, manager and entrepreneur.

                Few women ballplayers gained much notoriety outside their community in the early decades of the 20th century except for Lizzie Murphy from Rhode Island, 1915-35, and Alta Weiss from Ohio. Weiss was discovered in 1907 playing catch with boys. She was quickly signed by an Ohio independent club and became the star attraction, even pitching an exhibition game at League Park in Cleveland. Her father purchased a semi-pro club and re-named it the Weiss All-Stars. They traveled throughout Ohio and Kentucky. In 1909 she left baseball to go to medical school where she graduated in 1914, naturally, the only woman in her class. Murphy played professionally against male clubs from age fifteen in 1909 to 1935. Mostly, she played for the barnstorming Boston All-Stars who often vied with and against major leaguers.

                An all-female Bloomer Girl team traveled to Japan in the 1920s to play exhibition games against male college teams.

                To spark fan interest and attendance, the Negro leagues fielded female ballplayers. First, Pearl Barrett saw action with the Havana Stars in 1917 and Isabel Baxter played one game at second for the Cleveland Giants in 1933. Later, the Indianapolis Clowns introduced Toni Stone and Connie Morgan as second basemen in 1953 and 1954, respectively. Peanut Johnson also pitched for the team in the latter year. Reportedly, Stone asked for a tryout with the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League but was ignored.

                Jackie Mitchell may have been the first woman of the century to sign a professional contract in organized baseball. In 1932 the “Barnum of Baseball,” Joe Engel, was manager of the Chattanooga Lookouts of the Southern Association. Mitchell was only 17 years old at the time but had been trained to pitch by Hall of Famer Dazzy Vance. In a publicity stunt on April 2nd she struck out a chuckling Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig. Engel planned to use her in regular league games but the next day Judge Landis overturned her contract claiming that organized baseball was “too strenuous” for women to play.

                In Class-D ball in 1936 Sunny Dunlap pitched the entire game for the Fayetteville Bears. It may be the last appearance of a woman in organized baseball.

                The All-American Girls Professional Baseball League kicked off during World War II. The brainchild of Chicago Cubs owner Phillip Wrigley, it lasted from 1943-54. Max Carey, among others, helped organize the league and the list of managers included Dave Bancroft, Carey, Jimmie Foxx, Bill Wambsganss and Johnny Gottselig, a hockey pro. Today, it is best remembered for the 1992 movie A League of Their Own.

                Umpire
                Amanda Clement was an umpire around the turn of the century. She toiled in over 300 games in six years, drawing praise from Teddy Roosevelt, among others.

                Media
                Leslie Scarsella, wife of Cincinnati pinch hitter Les, called play-by-play for a Reds’ game in 1939. Another pioneer was sportswriter Jeane Hofmann. Writing for the New York Journal-American in the 1940s, she incurred harassment from peers and players alike. Her job was made even more difficult as she found clubhouses and press boxes inaccessible to women.

                Front Office
                Helene Britton, the first woman to own a major league club, inherited the St. Louis Cardinals from her uncle Stanley Robison in 1911. Despite efforts to force her out by other National League owners, Britton stood her ground. After her marriage broke up, she assumed control over day-to-day operations from her husband, becoming the first woman to actively run a major league club. Britton sold the team in 1916. Grace Comiskey became the second female owner after the death of her husband.

                Effa Manley stands out among female owners in both verve and intelligence. For years, she ran the Newark Eagles in the Negro leagues. Likewise, NAACP leader Olivia Taylor ran the Indianapolis ABCs. In the minors retail magnate Lucille Thomas purchased a Western League franchise in 1930.

                Manley was co-owner of the Newark Eagles with her husband, Abe. It had been his life-long dream to own a baseball team. With his eye for talent Abe scouted up-and-coming ballplayers. Effa handled the business and public relations end of the operation. She was also a visionary and protector of the Negro leagues. This led to many clashes at executive meetings and informal gatherings. In 2006 she became the first female elected to Cooperstown.

                The two met at the 1932 World Series and soon married. Abe was twenty years her senior and a professional gambler. They purchased the franchise three years later. Effa soon became a leader within the Negro National League, even helping to squelch a threatened player strike.

                Manley is best known today for her outspoken condemnation of the player raids by major league executives after Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier. In 1947 she sold Larry Doby to Bill Veeck in Cleveland. However, she hired a lawyer when Branch Rickey of Brooklyn tried to simply take Monte Irvin without providing compensation. Rickey then offered $2,500 but was refused. Manley later sold Irvin to the Giants for $5,000. Irvin, like others, took a pay cut,$1,500, to join the majors. She was elected to the Hall of Fame in 2007.

                J.L. Wilkinson, owner of the Kansas City Monarchs, was especially hit hard, losing Satchel Paige, Jackie Robinson, Ernie Banks and Elston Howard to the major leagues without receiving a cent. Understandably, it left him bitter.

                In the Field
                Former Bloomer Girl Edith Houghton scouted for the Philadelphia Phillies after World War II.

                LATE 20TH CENTURY

                Players
                In June 1952 the Harrisburg Senators of the Class-B Inter-State League announced that they were going to sign 24-year-old shortstop Eleanor Engle. Before she could take the field, the league president stepped in and banned the signing of women. On the 21st Commissioner Ford Frick went one step further and formally banned the signing of women on all teams in organized baseball. The ruling stands today.

                During the 1950s, righthanded pitcher Peanut Johnson, second baseman Connie Morgan and second baseman Toni Stone played for the Indianapolis Clowns in the Negro American League. Johnson went 33-8 from 1953-55. Stone replaced Hank Aaron on the Clowns in 1953 after several seasons on pro teams and even appeared in the East-West Classic. Johnson and her friend, Rita Clark, showed up at training camp and tried out for the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League but the African-Americans never received a reply.

                Mostly, women today play softball. It is rare to find a fiercely competitive and serious female baseball player. One who qualifies is Julie Croteau. She was the first woman to play in a NCAA game when she took the field for St. Mary’s College, Maryland in March 1989. The first baseman played only one year, leaving on account of continual harassment. She would later reappear on the Coors Brewery-sponsored Colorado Silver Bullets in 1994.

                The Silver Bullets were a serious, female, professional baseball team that traveled throughout the country playing male teams during the 1990s. They were managed by Hall of Fame knuckleball pitcher Phil Niekro.

                Ila Borders on May 31, 1997 became one of the few women to play in a minor league game when she went to the mound in relief in the independent Northern League for the St. Paul Saints against Souix Falls. On July 26, 1998 the southpaw notched her first victory. Still pitching in ‘99, Borders appeared in fifteen games, winning one and amassing a 1.76 ERA. She retired in July 2000 with a 2-4 record in 52 games.

                In the 43rd round of the 1993 amateur free agent draft 18-year-old Carey Schueler became the first woman selected by a major league team. On a lark, her father, White Sox general manager Ron Schueler picked her. She was not signed.

                In October 1988 the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown unveiled a permanent exhibit that honors the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League that operated from 1943-54.

                Media
                Major League Baseball opened its clubhouses to female reporters in 1970. The harassment was endless, including Dave Kingman mailing a live rat to one reporter. In 1979 Commissioner Bowie Kuhn, continuing his controversial rulings, threw the women out. Earlier, Mary Shane became the first woman employed on a daily basis to do play-by-play. She was hired by none other than Bill Veeck in 1977. In 2005 Suzyn Waldman with the Yankees became the first full-time female television commentator.

                Front Office
                Joan Payson, as 10% owner of the New York Giants, was the only stockholder to vote against the move to San Francisco. She was slated to become an owner in the aborted Continental League, William Shea’s brainchild. Shea was a New York attorney with long ties to the sporting industry that had been on a mission to bring a National League franchise back to the city after the Giants and Dodgers left in 1957. He brought in Branch Rickey to gain legitimacy for the league. The Continental League closed shop when it was assured that the majors would be expanding.

                Payson became majority owner of the expansion Mets in 1962. Though having little to do with day-to-day operations, she helped lure the popular Casey Stengel out of retirement to manage the club. In 1969 she became the first female owner to win the world championship. After Payson’s death in 1975, ownership eventually funneled to her daughter Lorinda de Roulet and granddaughters Bebe and Whitney de Roulet. The team was sold to interests headed by Nelson Doubleday in 1980.

                In 1981 Marge Schott became a minority owner in the Cincinnati Reds. Four years later, she gained a majority interest. It was a bumpy ride from there. Payson and Schott are the only two female majority owners that did not inherit their club.

                Jean Yawkey, Red Sox, Jackie Autry of California and Joan Kroc, Padres in 1984, inherited a major league team when their husbands passed away. Ms. Yawkey served as majority owner and general partner from 1976 until her death in ‘93. Later, Wendy Selig-Prieb took over the Brewers when her father assumed the role of commissioner. She took formal control of the team when it was set up in a trust when Bud Selig was officially announced as commissioner in 1998. Ridiculously, he had been acting in the capacity for six years.

                Lanny Moss became the first woman hired to run a team in organized baseball, doing so in Single-A in 1975. Kate Feeney and Phyllis Collins achieved high ranking positions in the National League in the 1990s.

                On the Field
                Heather Nabozny became head groundskeeper for the Tigers in 1999.

                Umpires
                Several women toiled in blue. Christine Wren oversaw games at the Rookie and Class-A levels from 1975-77. Bernice Gera began umpiring in the minors in the New York-Pennsylvania League in ‘69. Her contract was immediately rescinded by National Association president Phil Piton and she sued. Finally, Gera won her case and re-took the field on June 25, 1972 in Geneva, New York. On the field that day she made the cardinal mistake of reversing herself on a call. Gera quit after only one game admitting that she was “physically, mentally and financially drained.” She later accepted a front office job in the Mets organization. Theresa Cox umpired in the Double-A Southern League from 1988-92. Female umpire Ria Cortesio began in the minors in 1999 and is working her way up the system (later she was discharged). Shanna Kook found work in the minors from 2003-04.
                Last edited by Brian McKenna; 03-29-2008, 10:44 AM.

                Comment


                • #9
                  The voiding of Engle's contract sounds like a ban to me. It was a decision administered and on behalf of both MLB and the National Association. The NA president stood at the head of the NA but he still answered to MLB.

                  A ban in no way needs to be formally written down. It can and has been done in professional baseball:
                  -orally
                  -by word of mouth
                  -by colleagues' pressure
                  -by general understanding
                  -by edict as the voiding of Engle's contract.

                  Baseball officials throughout the land saw and understood Engle's voided contract as a line they themselves should not cross.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Most female owners inherited teams from their deceased husbands.
                    Code:
                    Edith (Forney) (Dunn) Pross-------------------Apr.19	1863-1945	Jul.25	82
                    Ida Virginia Shibe (wife of Thomas)---------------Jun.17	1871-1952	My.13	82
                    Florence (Wolf) Dreyfuss----------------------Mar.31	1872-1950	My.12	78
                    Grace Elizabeth Reidy Comiskey  (wife of J. Louis)My.15	1893-1956	Dec.10	63
                    Joan (Whitney) Payson-------------------------Feb. 5	1903-1975	Oct. 4	72
                    Jean Remington (Hollander) Yawkey-------------Jan.24	1909-1992	Feb.26	83
                    Dorothy  (Comiskey) Rigley  (daughter of J. Louis)-Dec. 26	1917-1971	Jan. 22	54
                    Joan Beverly (Mansfield) Kroc-----------------Aug.27	1928-2003	Oct.12	75
                    Margaret (Unnewehr) (Marge) Schott------------Aug.28	1928- 2004	Mar.2	75
                    Last edited by Bill Burgess; 03-29-2008, 12:55 PM.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Brian McKenna View Post
                      The voiding of Engle's contract sounds like a ban to me. It was a decision administered and on behalf of both MLB and the National Association. The NA president stood at the head of the NA but he still answered to MLB.

                      A ban in no way needs to be formally written down. It can and has been done in professional baseball:
                      -orally
                      -by word of mouth
                      -by colleagues' pressure
                      -by general understanding
                      -by edict as the voiding of Engle's contract.

                      Baseball officials throughout the land saw and understood Engle's voided contract as a line they themselves should not cross.
                      Kind of like the ban against blacks. So it sounds like there was one of those "gentlemen's agreement" things
                      Originally posted by bhss89
                      "Hi. My name is John. I'd like you to meet my fastball. Can you catch up to it?
                      Didn't think so. I'll see you again tomorrow night around the top of the ninth."
                      Originally posted by ChineseDemocracy
                      Why can't they just air the doubleheaders? Those programs aimed at children are crap anyway.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        If a woman came along who had the goods and could help a team win, I think she would get a shot. This isn't the 1920s....social attitudes have changed, and while baseball is still steeped in conservatism, money supercedes everything.

                        And can you imagine how much merchandise the first female major leaguer will sell? How many nationally-televised games she would appear in? It boggles the mind.
                        "Hey Mr. McGraw! Can I pitch to-day?"

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by blacksilverfan12 View Post
                          Kind of like the ban against blacks. So it sounds like there was one of those "gentlemen's agreement" things
                          I liken it more like a "corporate memo" or a "management decision." They may not be formally listed in some rule book but they are heeded nonetheless. Of course this one is out dated and for the most part unknown by current management.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Victory Faust View Post
                            If a woman came along who had the goods and could help a team win, I think she would get a shot. This isn't the 1920s....social attitudes have changed, and while baseball is still steeped in conservatism, money supercedes everything.

                            And can you imagine how much merchandise the first female major leaguer will sell? How many nationally-televised games she would appear in? It boggles the mind.
                            If this were accurate, then why are there not more women in mid-management positions, managers, coaches, umpires, etc.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by ipitch View Post
                              If women are banned from MLB now, I bet the ban would be quickly lifted if a MLB-caliber woman player came along.
                              Don't hold your breath.

                              The Jackie Mitchell thing was set-up.

                              Comment

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