Women in Baseball

In the spring of 1866, Vassar student Annie Glidden wrote in a letter to her brother how she enjoyed playing club baseball, evidence that women have been eager to compete in the sport since its early days.

During World War II, while many Major League rosters were depleted of starting players, Philip Wrigley founded the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League (AAGPBL) in 1943. The AAGPBL was made famous by the 1992 film, A League of Their Own. Contrary to the film, the AAGPBL enjoyed success from its inception, as teams were located in markets without MLB teams. In the league’s 11 years, there were 15 teams all hailing from the Midwest. A few of the top teams included the Rockford Peaches from IL, South Bend Blue Sox from IN, and Fort Wayne Daisies from IN. The existence of a women’s league indicates an awareness of the importance of the sport to women and that baseball is not a game just for men. In 1994, the Coors Brewing Company sponsored the Colorado Silver Bullets all-female professional team. They barnstormed across the country playing men’s minor league and semi-pro teams from 1994-1997.

Today, women remain underrepresented in the MLB. Although women have worked as umpires up to the AAA minor leagues and in administrative front offices of professional teams, MLB received a C (71) grade for gender hiring in 2018 from the Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport.