By Lili Sandler, A Mighty Girl Senior Research Intern
April has arrived, and with it, baseball and softball season! Both iconic and poetic, few games have captivated the American public year after year with the same level of passion and devotion. While baseball has, unfortunately, remained a male-dominated sport in the professional realm, its steadfast allure has earned it a place in the heart of many a Mighty Girl, young and old alike.
For that reason, we have pulled together a list of some of our favorite books, toys, clothes, and more for the baseball and softball lover in your life. Whether watching her favorite team on TV or at the ballpark, learning about women’s roles in the history of baseball and softball, tossing a ball around in her own backyard, or playing on a real live team, if you know a Mighty Girl with an interest in America’s pastime, there’s sure to be something for her here!
WOMEN IN BASEBALL HISTORY
While girls and women have always been interested in the game of baseball (Vassar College boasts an all-girl’s baseball team as early as 1866, only 9 years after the first national baseball association was formed) their ability to play at a professional level was limited to only 12 seasons. From 1943 - 1954, the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League (AAGPBL) was home to more than 600 women athletes who played for 15 different teams throughout the midwestern United States. Many books have been published discussing the history of the AAGPBL, several of which you can find in our baseball and softball section.
For a survey of the AAGPBL and an introduction to some of the players therein, readers 10 and up will enjoy Sue Macy’s A Whole New Ball Game: The Story of the All American Girls Professional Baseball League. In it, Macy addresses many of the societal issues the young women of the time were forced to deal with in order to play ball, as well as the economic issues of running a baseball league.
A well-known and equally-loved movie, Penny Marshall’s A League of Their Own tells the story of the AAGPBL through the eyes of a pair of sisters who play for the Rockford Peaches. Starring Geena Davis, Madonna, Rosie O’Donnell, and Tom Hanks, this film is recommended for ages 9 and up. Continue reading Continue reading