Women in Baseball


JUNIOR SARA TOBIAS is an outfielder on the Middlebury College softball team. As shown here playing in the 2016 World Cup competition, she is also a baseball pitcher who has played on the USA National Women’s Baseball Team in international competitions. Photo courtesy of Sara Tobias
This three-part series on Women in Baseball was supposed to be just a two-parter: one on women in the front offices of Major League Baseball and another on women actually on the field playing baseball. In the baseball course I taught at Middlebury College (“Baseball, Literature, and American Culture”), we always had a two-week segment on women in the game in which we read some wonderful writing by women on baseball and were introduced to the history of females playing the sport. Retired now, I haven’t taught that course for a long time and have realized I am not up to date. Opportunities for...

TONI STONE PLAYED second base in 1953 for the Indianapolis Clowns of the Negro American League, replacing Henry Aaron who left for the Milwaukee Braves. She is the subject of an excellent biography, “Curveball: The Remarkable Story of Toni Stone” by Martha Ackmann. Painting by Graig Kreindler from the archives of NegroLeaguesHistory.com
Second in a series Just a few weeks after Kim Ng was hired by the Miami Marlins to run their team as the general manager, the Red Sox hired Bianca Smith to be the first Black woman to coach in the major leagues and the second woman overall: Yes, those Red Sox, who for generations have had to live down the ignominy of being the last team to put a Black player on the field. Like Ng, Smith is eminently qualified for this position despite her youth (she’s 30). A graduate of Dartmouth, she played on both the softball team and the club baseball team there. She earned a dual M.A. degree in business...

EFFA MANLEY, PRESIDENT of the Newark Eagles in the Negro American League in the 1930s and ’40s, was part of a “men’s club” in the world of professional sports. Here she is seen seated between Negro league star Josh Gibson (right) and Gus Greenlee (left), powerful owner of the Pittsburgh Crawfords. Photo Credit NoirTech Research Inc.
The first in a series. This has been a good year for women in baseball. That’s a sentence that could not have been written before this year. This year is different and may mark a turning point in women’s participation in the Grand Old Game. The hiring of Kim Ng (pronounced Ang) as the general manager of the Miami Marlins is a big deal and really does shatter a glass ceiling: She is the first woman in the long history of the game to serve in the crucial role of GM. Most Major League Baseball teams today have a woman, or two, in senior positions, but on the business side, in marketing,...

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Addison County Independent