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Breaking into Baseball: Women and the National Pastime (Writing Baseball) Hardcover – March 3, 2005
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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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"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 informationbaseball’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
"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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For those intrigued by the thought of different ways of relating to baseball, the seven ways are:
as Baseball Annies
as Amateur Players
as Professional Players
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.
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.