According to coach Siegal, while more than 100,000 girls play youth baseball, only 1,000 of them end up playing at the high school level. According to the National Federation of State High School Associations, 1,290 girls played high school baseball in the 2015 to 2016 school year. While some of that could be due to attrition, the blame falls largely on two reasons: the lack of opportunity for girls at the high school level, and softball.
“Too many schools are telling girls that they can’t try out,” Siegal said. “These girls aren’t being supported in their efforts to move up the chain.”
And then there’s softball, which siphons girls who might’ve had an interest in baseball away from the sport from the very beginning. For author Ardell, it’s no coincidence that in the same year Little League allowed girls to play baseball, they also created a girls softball league, which now has 360,000 participants worldwide, according to its website.
“That is my favorite conspiracy theory,” Ardell said. “People are still more comfortable with girls playing softball—it’s nice and neat and tidy. Softball, over the last 50 years, has really been a problem for girls who want to play baseball.”
Softball is often deemed the girls’ equivalent to baseball, a notion that former professional pitcher Borders vehemently disqualifies.
Probably just a publicity stunt to get fans in the stands to watch the GM.
At first glance, Knichel appears part-stereotype: Her hair is perfectly curled and she wears a large, monogramed necklace. Her office is not only decorated with nine years’ worth of Blue Crabs momentos, but also with a pink base from a breast cancer awareness event and a mug scrawled with “World’s best lady boss” in pink script. On the wall behind her desk, there’s a framed picture of the Blue Crabs’ opening pitch.
If that clashes with the summer boys’ culture of baseball, Knichel does not care—she has a vision for what she wants, and she’s quick to respond if she sees something out of place.
Earlier this year, Knichel was visiting the locker room after a game to talk to Owens. As she usually does, she called out before entering to make sure all the players were at least decently dressed. As Knichel walked in, a first-year player made a crack, miming her peering through her fingers to see the supposedly naked studs in the locker room. Knichel stopped.
“I was like, ‘Dude, I’ve worked here nine years,’” she said. “‘If I wanted to look at d—ks, I’d have looked at d—ks, you know?’”
Mike North: “I’ve got to tell you something folks. You know, I’ve been called every name in the book doing this job since the early 90s. Good names, bad names, and everything in between. I’ve been called everything from a pillar in the community to a guy who’s the best who did it in Chicago’s history to a racist and a sexist. I’m going to just tell you right now what everybody else doesn’t want to say, except maybe the regular fan who you see on social media: Jessica Mendoza is the worst baseball announcer who has ever announced the game of baseball. Now, if you want to call me a sexist, go ahead. But I’m an observer, and I’ve been observing and listening to baseball announcers for 20, 30, 40, 50 years. And I’ll tell you right now I don’t care if you’re Cassidy Hubbarth, I love Cassidy, Christine Brennan, Michelle Beadle, these are all people I respect, Ann Meyers, Cheryl Miller. You want me to go on? Pam Oliver. Because apparently I have to tell everybody nowadays - because of the PC crowd - the females I like before I can criticize one. If Jessica Mendoza continues on I believe someday they’re going to have to replace her, unless the rating are okay, but I don’t care. What I do now is I shut the sound down to watch that game; she’s just not a good announcer. If she was a man, she’d be (fired like) Tony Kornheiser or Dennis Miller. OK? And that’s the God honest truth about it. Period. End of Story. I listened for an inning last night, and I had to shut it off.”
Major League Baseball teams could do a better job of hiring minority candidates for managing and GM posts or women for VP and other administrative positions, according to an annual report released Wednesday.
The study is overseen by Richard Lapchick of The Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport at the University of Central Florida and is similar in scope to those he conducts examining other leagues.
Baseball teams were given a grade of C-plus for racial hiring practices for managers….
The grades given to MLB’s central office – an A-plus for racial hiring practices and B-minus for gender hiring practice – were far better than at the club level. As for female candidates, teams received an F for hiring vice presidents, a C for senior team administration positions, and another C for professional administration.
“In terms of opportunities for women,” Lapchick said, “there’s a lot left to be desired.”
“This isn’t just an African-American celebration. This is about the opening of doors for everybody,” Hurdle said, according to the Beaver County Times. “I still believe firmly there is going to be a day where there is a female player in the big leagues. I got that. Where it goes, I don’t know. I don’t believe I’ll be in the dugout to see it.”
Hurdle, 58, may not be too far off. After all, it wasn’t too long ago when Mo’Ne Davis dominated the Little League World Series, though her dream lies in basketball. Even so, Sarah Hudek, who pitched for the U.S. in the Pan Am Games last summer, earned her first win as a reliever in college baseball two months ago.
As for coaching, Justine Siegal made history by being a guest instructor for the Oakland Athletics’ Instructional League team last fall.
Sports Illustrated’s Richard Deitsch asked several reporters who cover Major League Baseball last month if they believe they would see a female baseball player in the next 50 years, and the answers were split.
Wallace’s scouting workload from March through August, covering amateur players in most New England states, is practically full time. Officially speaking, though, Wallace is the scouting bureau’s only part-time scout (maintaining a law practice and raising a 16-month-old son will lead to some compromises).
That leaves 22-year-old Amanda Hopkins in a class of her own.
Bill Bavasi, who succeeded Marcos as the scouting bureau’s senior director, said that if the Mariners had not hired Hopkins, he would have.
Hopkins might be the youngest scout in the game this year, but she has loads of experience. Her father, Ron, is the scouting director for the Pittsburgh Pirates, and he previously held the position with the Texas Rangers and the Oakland Athletics. Amanda Hopkins played college softball at Central Washington and was an intern for the Mariners for three summers.
“We sent her to scout school, and she ranked pretty high in the class,” the Mariners’ scouting director, Tom McNamara, told MLB.com. “When I called to tell her we’d nominated her for scout school, she was in tears on the phone, literally in tears. It was kind of chilling. It meant a lot to her.”