A daily accumulation of history and present as I follow the 2011 year through the baseball season and reflect on the glories and disappointments of the greatest game on Earth.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Justine Siegal

If most people know anything about women in baseball, they've either watched a movie where there is no crying in baseball, which features Madonna and Rosie O' Donnell (2 reasons that I've never watched the movie), OR they're convinced that you mean softball, and with that, you obviously have no idea what you are talking about.
Nevertheless, Phillip K. Wrigley imagined the unimaginable in 1942 when men were drafted for war and the country still needed baseball players. And the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League lasted until 1954, which showed that it had some degree of power, but the reality was that most of that drawing power was gone when the men came back to play again in 1946.
And if we were talking about softball, we'd have stars like Jenny Finch who can fireball underhanded with the best of them and challenge major leaguers with the 43 feet of distance that a softball moves at 71MPH to challenge a hitter - a hitter mind you that is not as buffed up as her male counterparts in professional baseball.
But baseball has never let a woman play in its game. We now have a female coach, Justine Siegal, but the reality is that the majors just haven't found a way for a woman to make it to the pros.
In Japan, they have. Eri Yoshida and her knuckleball are now signed and moving through the Japanese minor leagues. Whether she could be Tim Wakefield remains to be seen, but alas... there is always the dream of being Hoyt Willhelm and ending up in Cooperstown.
And for all of the dreams of whatever little girl that is out there hoping that she can be the first, there is more and more female interest in baseball, which is great because baseball represents in the words of Ken Burns all that is good about our country, and I would completely agree.
I just wish that something didn't include pink versions of team jerseys and hats.

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