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  • #16
    Mitchell was, indeed, a set-up.

    There's some info about her in the Women's Baseball Forum.

    There is an ostensible ban against women, but it was not instituted because of a pre-orchestrated event in which Ruth was struck out.

    I would assume the ban would easily be overridden today, but without MLB-caliber female players, it hasn't really been tested. Personally, I'd love to see women's baseball develop much further, and a female pro would probably do a good deal to help that movement, of course I wouldn't support a token player simply for that sake though.
    THE REVOLUTION WILL NOT COME WITH A SCORECARD

    In the avy: AZ - Doe or Die

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    • #17
      Do women have the physical potential to compete with men in baseball? I don't know. But consider this. The world record for the women's 100 meters is Flojo's 10.49, set at the 1988 US Olympic trials for Seoul Olympics, on July 16, 1988, at Indianapolis, IN.

      At the beginning of that day, the women's 100m world record had stood at 10.76, by Evelyn Ashford.

      Every college in the world has much faster times. Hundreds of men have run faster. Flojo only achieved her WR using steroids, even though she was never caught. She was savvy enough to discontinue early enough before competitions, that she never failed a urine test. Even though she only weighed 130 lbs., Flojo could squat 320 lbs.

      Marion Jones, also using steroids, could only run 10.65. That is the closest any woman has ever come to Florence Griffith Joyner's (Flojo) world record, outside of Flojo herself. In that same day she set the record, she also recorded times of 10.60 (wind-aided), 10.70, 10.61!

      But baseball is much more than stronger, faster, bigger. Baseball is not weight-lifting/sprinting. Baseball is very involved with skill, finesse, instinct, judgment, artistry.

      Every year, at spring training camps around America, bigger, stronger, faster players lose out to smaller, quicker, weaker peers. If bigger, stronger, faster decided the issue, than Mickey Mantle would have become the greatest player.

      But The Mick was never known to arrive early at the park to hone his tools into skills. So, Mickey was out-lasted by the Pete Roses/Nellie Foxs.

      Could Rose get down to 1B faster than Flojo? Rose could not get down to 1B faster than me in my skinny years. And I could not hope to outrun Flojo!

      So, my point is that women needn't be bigger, faster, stronger than their male counter-parts to outperform them on the playing field.

      Rose out-performed Jose Canseco, who was many times stronger, faster and bigger. But Canseco was a time-card puncher, while Rose arrived at the park early to hone his limited skills. Rose was hungrier.

      So, the game is not to the more physically gifted, but to the hungriest. I think women are kept out for a number of bad reasons.

      1. Tradition
      2. Prejudice
      3. Job security for the men.
      4. Fear by the owners that it would anger fans to go so far against tradition.
      5. Lack of motivation by women to tear down the barricades. Something like letting women into combat.
      6. Lack of motive by women to train for a profession unlikely to welcome them. So they go where they are already welcomed. Ice skating, gymnastics, etc.
      Last edited by Bill Burgess; 03-30-2008, 10:09 AM.

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      • #18
        Originally posted by Bill Burgess View Post
        Do women have the physical potential to compete with men in baseball?
        This has been discussed extensively in the female baseball section if anyone wants to check it out in the archives.

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        • #19
          Originally posted by Brian McKenna View Post
          This has been discussed extensively in the female baseball section if anyone wants to check it out in the archives.
          And now it's being discussed extensively here too. Hope we don't get caught. Might have to stay after school and clap erasers.

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          • #20
            I think it basically - like everything else - comes down to supply and demand. Female baseball is just not that popular - for several basic reasons:
            1) Softball is much more popular and thus young women are pushed towards it.
            2) Women simply do not watch sports and drive the market nearly as much as males.
            3) Most people, at this point, would rather watch males play baseball than females.

            Until female baseball can attract the fans in significant levels and likewise pull talent from a wider pool, it will be extremely difficult for a female player to reach the level to ascend into the highest levels of the minors.

            This is not to say women can't do it. I would personally love to see my girl kick butt on the ball field. But, there are obstacles:
            1) Parents are not geared towards pushing girls into baseball
            2) Girls, for the most part, are not geared to play hardball.
            3) Girls have very few female role models to follow in baseball - and that starts with their mother first, then family, friends and ultimately society.
            4) The baseball "institution" from the lowest level coach up to MLB itself has traditionally not included females on the field.
            5) You have to play against better players to get better - until women enter baseball in a large scale and play against guys on a large scale, they will not produce enough potential candidates that can ascend the minor league system.
            6) If only 1 in how many boys can make the minors, than what % do you think it's possible for women to do so. And, actually that % is zero now - but say that was to turn in the next few decades and say by a stretch that 10% of girls play hardball by 2040 at a comparable level to boys their age - than they still would have only 1/10 the % of the average boy.

            In short, it's a numbers game. In order for girls to get to the point where they could compete for potential minor league jobs with boys, they have to participate in large enough quantities that the few who can compete (at the top level) develop their skills against the best athletes and thus rise to the top. That is a ways away.

            One can focus on tradition, prejudice or any other number of intellectual ideas. They obviously need to be overcome. But, the real impediments lie at the bottom rung - getting the girls and their families interested - developing the talent - competing against top talent. It's a numbers game - if you're drawing from an extremely small pool, you're chances are significantly reduced.

            Plus, baseball is not a simple game where any yahoo can pick up a ball and throw it in a hoop or kick a ball at a goal post. Skills take years to develop in baseball. That is why so many young men forgo a college education for a chance in the minors. And there in lies another impediment - will girls and their families feel it is in their best interests to skip college.

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            • #21
              actually, after this event Landis himself voided Mitchell's contract

              this is said to have been a set-up...but if it were then why didn't she strikeout all 3 batters she faced? She walked Lazzeri...but unless who control was nowhere near the plate you would think that if it were a setup the ump would have given her a good zone.


              she struck out Ruth, Gehrig and then walked Lazzeri


              "I don't know what's going to happen if they begin to let women in baseball. Of course, they will never make good. Why? Because they are too delicate. It would kill them to play ball every day." - Babe Ruth

              here is some info


              A few days later, Baseball Commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis voided Mitchell's contract, claiming that baseball was "too strenuous" for a woman. It was a gross injustice and an obvious ploy to curb the embarrassment of their bruised male egos. (MLB formally banned the signing of women to contracts on June 21, 1952).
              "Batting stats and pitching stats do not indicate the quality of play, merely which part of that struggle is dominant at the moment."

              -Bill James

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              • #22
                Originally posted by sturg1dj View Post
                this is said to have been a set-up...but if it were then why didn't she strikeout all 3 batters she faced? She walked Lazzeri...but unless who control was nowhere near the plate you would think that if it were a setup the ump would have given her a good zone.
                To get her out of the game? I mean, if she struck out Ruth Gehrig and Lazzeri, why would you even think of pulling her?

                Anyway, a couple of other points. Women could probably compete, most likely in the areas of pitcher or catcher, where hitting has the least premium. Possibly at 2B, less at SS as it is becoming increasingly an offensive position. This is based on the assumption that women tend to be physically smaller and are less likely to drive the ball for as much power.

                One thing I always think of though is the case of Manon Rhéaume. She played in guys leagues all the way coming up. She was good enough to play major junior hockey (the most frequent stepping stone to the NHL and the QMJHL specifically turns out some of the best NHL goalies), but not at all good enough for the NHL.

                Tangentially, I'm not sure that Bill's six reasons are fair, either. Until a woman attempts 5 or 6, there isn't really any contemporary evidence to suggest 1-4. Indeed, historically an owner has shown willingness to sign a woman, for whatever reason, only to have the commissioner shoot it down (referring to 1952 here). Does anyone know if pressure was put on Frick many any person or group?
                sigpic
                5.

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                • #23
                  While i will say that women in all honesty don't have the power to be big hitters in MLB, the game of baseball is very much a game of skill, and there women can do just as well as men given the right training methods and natural talent. Ichiro cant hit very well for power, so he adapts and hits for singles and does good baserunning. there's no logical reason why a woman with the access to training and support cannot also do this.

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by Bill Burgess View Post
                    If this were accurate, then why are there not more women in mid-management positions, managers, coaches, umpires, etc.

                    Those are not players who would help the team win. That's the crucial difference, IMO...the conservative folks in baseball wouldn't be willing to take such a bold step and go out on a limb without the incentive of the woman in question being able to help the team win.

                    Do you honestly think if a woman came around who could hit the ball 500 feet, or throw the ball 100 mph, that no team would sign her?
                    "Hey Mr. McGraw! Can I pitch to-day?"

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by Victory Faust View Post
                      Those are not players who would help the team win. That's the crucial difference, IMO...the conservative folks in baseball wouldn't be willing to take such a bold step and go out on a limb without the incentive of the woman in question being able to help the team win.

                      Do you honestly think if a woman came around who could hit the ball 500 feet, or throw the ball 100 mph, that no team would sign her?
                      While your reasoning is sound, I also wouldn't have thought that the owners would have ignored good black ballplayers for so, so long.

                      Even when such an authority figure as McGraw was drooling to sign John Lloyd, Smokey Joe Williams, and others, would would have thought that conservative tradition would have been such an impenetrable barrier.

                      Those players could have helped win games, as Paige/Gibson could have later. And yet, that tradition lasted until after WWII.

                      Many believe than only black soldiers dying finally convinced a lot of white folks that if a man can die for his country, he should be able to play baseball for it. At least that's what a lot of people think. And I am one of that group.

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                      • #26
                        Originally posted by Bill Burgess View Post
                        While your reasoning is sound, I also wouldn't have thought that the owners would have ignored good black ballplayers for so, so long.

                        That was an entirely different era. Personal prejudice by individual owners is obviously one reason why blacks were barred, but more importantly, I think, was the prevailing social attitiude of the day. Owners feared being ostracized if they hired a black ballplayer. By mid-20th Century, those attitudes were changing.

                        Nowadays, any owner who hired a female player would be lauded from coast to coast. There would be a few sexists who resisted the move, but they would be in the vast minority. That was hardly the case in the early 20th Century.


                        Even when such an authority figure as McGraw was drooling to sign John Lloyd, Smokey Joe Williams, and others, would would have thought that conservative tradition would have been such an impenetrable barrier.
                        I think that just shows how strong the social bonds were back then.

                        And I know from your previous posts that you're well-aware how much Judge Landis' influence kept the color line intact, even as racial attitudes were starting to change. I have a feeling there may have been black players in MLB by the mid-30s if Landis wasn't in office.


                        Those players could have helped win games, as Paige/Gibson could have later. And yet, that tradition lasted until after WWII.
                        That's when the mores started changing.


                        Many believe than only black soldiers dying finally convinced a lot of white folks that if a man can die for his country, he should be able to play baseball for it. At least that's what a lot of people think. And I am one of that group.
                        Well, sure. Very few people would think otherwise, I would hope.

                        But as it relates to signing female players in 21st Century America, I think we're in a totally different paradigm, and I don't think one can compare it to ownership's refusal to sign black players before 1947.
                        Last edited by Victory Faust; 03-30-2008, 07:21 PM.
                        "Hey Mr. McGraw! Can I pitch to-day?"

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                        • #27
                          I appreciate your sentiments, VF. I share your feelings. But I am also cynical as to the resistance in the world to our mutual beliefs.

                          Did you know that women had to fight like heck to get the International Olympic Committee to add a womens' 10,000/5,000 meters to the Olympic program. That didn't happen until the 1988 Seoul Olympics. And no meet promoters would run them either. All they had were the 1,500/3,000 meters, and Marathon.

                          Women are also having a hard time launching womens' boxing/mixed martial arts too. I would love to see a cable channel devoted solely to women's sports.

                          I believe that between all of them combined, that they could fill a full 24/7 menu. Basketball, soccer, lacrosse, cross-country, boxing, mixed martial arts, gymnastics, ice skating, softball, etc.

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                          • #28
                            I really don't understand why having a woman in the major leagues is so important? I'd rather see a professional women's baseball league like AAGPBL (sans the silly skirts). I would watch an AAGPBL at least for while to see if it catches my interest.

                            As for women being able to play in the majors I find it highly unlikley given the large discrepancies in size, strength, agility, quickness, and explosiveness between men and women.
                            Strikeouts are boring! Besides that, they're fascist. Throw some ground balls - it's more democratic.-Crash Davis

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                            • #29
                              Originally posted by Bill Burgess View Post
                              Did you know that women had to fight like heck to get the International Olympic Committee to add a womens' 10,000/5,000 meters to the Olympic program. That didn't happen until the 1988 Seoul Olympics. And no meet promoters would run them either. All they had were the 1,500/3,000 meters, and Marathon.
                              To be fair to the IOC, the second part of this quote is a large part of the reason for the first. For an event to be added to the Olympics, one of the standards that it has to meet is a certain level of competition.
                              To be added to the Summer Olympics, a sport or discipline must be widely practised by men in at least 75 countries on four continents and by women in at least 40 countries on three continents. To be added to the Winter Olympics, it must be widely practised in at least 25 countries on three continents.
                              If no meets are running the event, the IOC can't really gauge the level of participation; thus it won't get added to the Olympics. This is one of the reasons that baseball was a demonstration sport, rather than a medal sport, for so long (it became a medal sport in 1992 - and it will be removed in 2012).
                              sigpic
                              5.

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                              • #30
                                Originally posted by Victory Faust View Post
                                Do you honestly think if a woman came around who could hit the ball 500 feet, or throw the ball 100 mph, that no team would sign her?
                                The answer is no. Someone would. No decades old commissioners decision would matter at all; in fact, people (and that includes MLB) would love to see such female players come along. It could only be a plus. Does one honestly believe that after this television revolution that has taken place over the last decade with reality shows that any industry wouldn't be interested in something "new and dramatic?"

                                It's unrealistic to assume that an entire industry is conservative; in fact, in order to survive in business these days one needs to be considerably progressive and willing to take chances.

                                These are the people that flow in and out of baseball. They are also solid business people. If the best women these days playing baseball (and it really is a limited bunch) are only showing the skills of an average low level professional, than why should MLB be so interested? They have tons of low level players.

                                The drive to improve the plight of female baseball players needs to take place from the bottom up first. It does not start with MLB.
                                Last edited by Brian McKenna; 03-31-2008, 08:14 AM.

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