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Tuesday, August 08, 2017

The defiant girls who refuse to play softball instead of baseball, and why they rock

“I watched a middle school softball game once, and it was just so slow,” said Tess Usher, 11, who plays first base for D.C. Force, the all-girls baseball team that just killed it at a national tournament. “I love playing baseball. That’s not going to change.”

Tess hit her first home run in Rockford, Ill., last week, on the same field where the Rockford Peaches played in the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League way back in the 1940s when women showed the world they could play baseball.

Tess’s 11-and-under division had a good showing at the nation’s third-ever all-girls baseball tournament. The 13-and-under girls from the District? They won the whole darn thing.

“All these girls are awesome in and of themselves,” said the 13-and-under girls’ coach, Ava Benach, an immigration lawyer in Washington when she’s not coaching baseball. “They all play on teams that are coed, they hold their own, they’re usually the only girls on their teams.

“They’re trailblazers, because they get a lot of messages telling them to get out of baseball and go to softball.”

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 08, 2017 at 10:14 AM | 61 comment(s)
  Beats: softball, women in baseball, youth baseball

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Study shows youth baseball, softball participation on the rise

Baseball and softball combined to rank as the most participated team sport in 2016, according to the annual report by the Sports & Fitness Industry Association, a leader in sports participation research.


Equally important from baseball’s perspective, the sport showed growth in both casual and core participation over one-, three- and five-year periods at a time when the trends in other team sports are less encouraging, said Tom Cove, the president and CEO of SFIA.

The findings in SFIA’s participation report will be presented to the major-league owners during their quarterly meetings Thursday in New York.

“The narrative that you hear is, ‘Decline, decline, decline,’” said Tony Reagins, Major League Baseball’s senior vice-president for youth programs. “To see the numbers where they are, it’s really exciting. And we’re not going to rest on our laurels. We’re going to keep pushing and try to get more kids playing.”

The increase in baseball and softball participation almost certainly stems from MLB’s “Play Ball” initiative, which the sport launched in June 2015 in conjunction with the U.S. Conference of Mayors, USA Baseball and USA Softball. The goal of the initiative was to inspire young people to play the game, even if just in a casual form.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 18, 2017 at 09:41 AM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: youth baseball

Tuesday, May 02, 2017

MLB Welcomes Girls to Bat At First-Ever Girls’ Youth Tournament

Major League Baseball is teaming up with USA Baseball to hosting the first-ever Trailblazer Series, girls’ youth tournament, encouraging girls to pursue traditionally dominated male sports.

On April 15, the inaugural Trailblazer series became what is hopefully going to be the first of many girls’ baseball events.

“I didn’t know girls played baseball,” said Ja’nae Wray, a 12 year old from Douglasville, Ga., and one of the 100 girls to travel to Compton for the tournament, The Huffington Post reports. Wray went on to make three-run homeruns over the center field wall with plans to play baseball and softball back home after the tournament. She plans to join an all-girls travel baseball team.

Today more than 100,000 girls play youth baseball across that nation, The Huffington Post reports. With efforts to increase baseball and softball participation, MLB and its player’s union pledged $30 million in 2015 and now we’re seeing the results.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 02, 2017 at 11:06 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: women in baseball, youth baseball

 

 

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