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Breaking into Baseball: Women and the National Pastime (Writing Baseball) Hardcover – March 3, 2005


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Product Details

  • Series: Writing Baseball
  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Southern Illinois University Press; 1st edition (March 3, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0809326264
  • ISBN-13: 978-0809326266
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.6 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,984,973 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Veteran baseball writer Ardell offers a thorough, workmanlike progress report on the role of women in the game. Each chapter is a minihistory of women in each important role: as fans, amateur players, pro players, umpires, owners and executives, sportswriters--even as groupies, or "Baseball Annies." Considering that women, for example, comprised some 35 percent of the fans attending games in the 2002 season, they remain acutely underrepresented. There are no female major-league umpires, few professional women players (none in the majors), few baseball owners or executives (infamous Cincinnati Reds owner Marge Schott lowered the glass ceiling by several feet), and few beat reporters. Still, as Ardell capably shows, women contribute impressively: for instance, southpaw Ila Borders became the first woman to win a professional men's baseball game (1988), and Pam Postema umpired for seven years in Triple A. Solid reporting on an important topic. Alan Moores
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Review

"In her impressive and interesting book, Jean Hastings Ardell has written the definitive account of women’s roles in baseball. Ardell has uncovered a mostly hidden trove of information—baseball’s own feminine mystique. Her book is a must read, especially for those who believe (erroneously) they know all there is to know about baseball."—Marvin Miller, founding director of the Major League Baseball Players Association and author of A Whole Different Ball Game: The Inside Story of the Baseball Revolution

 



"At last! Incontrovertible proof that women have been a crucial, integral part of baseball from its sticks-and-stones prehistory right up to today. Ardell’s sharp insights on women as players, owners, umpires, and fans—on sex, money, power, feminism, and the role Baseball Annies played in baseball’s long ban of black ballplayers—make this book essential for anyone who cares about baseball, women, or fairness."—Elinor Nauen, editor of Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend: Women Writers on Baseball


"Ardell is a major league writer, and this book is proof that she belongs in the starting lineup. Breaking into Baseball explores relationships between women and baseball in ways heretofore neglected or ignored. It is, at once, imaginative, provocative, nuanced, and empowering."—Steve Gietschier, senior managing editor of the Sporting News

"Comprehensively researched and beautifully written, Breaking into Baseball tells the complex story of women and the national pastime in a compelling fashion. Ardell approaches her subject matter with passion, bringing to life the experiences of a host of women involved with every aspect of the game, in a way that is intellectually satisfying and extremely entertaining."—Roberta Newman, New York University


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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Reader on May 3, 2005
Format: Paperback
Jean Hastings Ardell has captured the essence of the connection between baseball and women in her well-written and thoroughly-researched chapters. Whether they are men or women, fans or players, readers will enjoy her fast-paced writing, her sense of perspective, her conscientious scholarship, and her sense of humor. Ms. Ardell's love for the game is evident on every page, and she taps into that connection for readers, enabling them to celebrate their own love for the game of baseball.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Stephen C. Smith on September 28, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Just when you think anything and everything has been written about baseball, along comes this book. Ms. Ardell approaches the subject from all angles, including some I never thought of, and I've been around the game as a journalist for several years. Her research is particularly impressive, with details such as the first female umpire to sign a game scorecard. Professional baseball is one of the last bastions of male chauvinism, and Ms. Ardell reminds us that the national pastime isn't quite as national as we'd like to believe. Definitely worth a five-star rating; I'll be sending out this book as gifts to people in the business with the hope that it opens not just eyes but minds and hearts too.
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By Deb Shattuck on May 27, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a must read book for students of our National pastime. It is elegantly written and chronicles the history of women's involvement with baseball from the mid-nineteenth century through to the modern day. Ardell provides a thorough historical overview of women players, (amateur and professional), sports writers, umpires, club owners and executives. She includes a unique chapter on women fans, focusing on the "Baseball Annies" who follow men's teams around offering themselves to players for sexual dalliances. Ardell is a gifted writer who makes history come alive for readers. This book will appeal equally to academicians and the general public.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By C. V. Garnett on February 6, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'm objective about this book, and I declare it a real winner.
Although it's about women "breaking into" the great national pastime,
men will find the historic aspects of interest, as well. The fact that the author quotes a "Washington Post" article of mine on the subject of the first Ladies Day Game played in the nation's capital does not influence my favorable opinion. It is a well researched and well credited book. I would hasten to recommend it.
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This is a well-written and well-researched book about the ways in which women have related to baseball from its very beginnings. In some ways, this seems an odd approach to the topic of women and baseball, but it's certainly a legitimate approach, and the author does an excellent job of bringing the stories to life.

For those intrigued by the thought of different ways of relating to baseball, the seven ways are:

as Fans
as Baseball Annies
as Amateur Players
as Professional Players
as Umpires
As Club Owners and Executives
as Women in the Media

The author has left out at least one way in which women relate to baseball: as vendors and grounds crew. Women as well as men get jobs ushering, selling hot dogs and other concessions, and maintaining the baseball grounds just because they love baseball. I would have liked to have heard their stories.

Very worth reading.
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