Women In Baseball Newsbeat
Tuesday, September 10, 2013
Nanryo High School baseball player Yuma Yamaguchi (17) filed a letter of intent with the Japan High School Baseball Federation. According to federation officials, she is the first female player on record to file a letter of intent. She filed because she wanted to attend a tryout for the Japan Women’s Baseball League on the 5th.
In Japan, high school players file a letter of intent to signify that they plan to turn professional; this makes them eligible for the NPB draft in November.
There’s a decent picture of Yamaguchi here (NSFW).
Posted: September 10, 2013 at 03:10 PM | 101 comment(s)
women in baseball
Thursday, August 01, 2013
If it weren’t for women at baseball games, us stat nerds would never know what one looked like!
Men hold an overwhelming majority of the power when it comes to creating mainstream sports culture, whether it’s by being a player, a fan, or a sportswriter. Take, for example, Tom Maloney’s piece in last Friday’s Globe and Mail, titled “A new generation of baseball fans in Toronto are young, hip and cool.” The article, which breaks down results of an in-stadium survey conducted by Ipsos-Reid, reinforces the very same exclusion and hostility that I have front of mind every time I pick my seats. In it, the author attempts to explain an “astounding” jump in women’s attendance at Rogers Centre from 2010 to 2012 by lazily hypothesizing that these young women aren’t really baseball fans at all.
Through some rather biased quotation choices (“it’s the best patio in the city, the best people-watching in the city”; “we can ‘watch’ the game—in quotations”), Maloney paints a singular portrait of a woman out for a night of beer and boy watching. “Along with a number of other women interviewed for this story, she indicated the club’s eye-appealing roster has enhanced her interest,” he writes of one subject. By cherry-picking comments and manufacturing conclusions, he does his part in contributing to a long-standing image problem that many female fans rail against.
To the media at large, baseball fans of the female persuasion tend to be seen as vapid, bored, and distracted, either dragged along by boyfriends or there to party and pick up, all the while wearing their Victoria’s Secret Jays tees and drooling over Brett Lawrie. Women are there for a ladies night or a bachelorette party—certainly not for any “real love” of the game, yet they do come in handy as the occasional pretty face for Sportsnet to zoom in on.
I certainly don’t deny that these kinds of fans exist—but I cannot agree that they’re a problem. The actual problem lies in consistently putting this very limited depiction of women’s relationship to sports into the world. It does real exclusionary damage in terms of attracting new fans, a project that both makes good economic sense and goes far in improving the overall experience for everyone.
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