Baseball And Its Impact On American Society Essay

Baseball And Its Impact On American Society Essay

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The year is 1943, and the war is on. With all the able-bodied young men shipped away from United States’ borders, baseball lacks a steady stream of potential players to entertain the masses. At the dawn of this crisis, Cubs’ owner Philip K. Wrigley proposed an idea so radical that it could shake the foundation of american sports: a women 's’ baseball league! Despite the significant risk, the All-American Girl’s Professional Baseball League beat the odds and ran for eleven remarkable years, from 1943-1954. When many of these young women began playing, they were simply seeking a steady source of income and a way to express their love of the game. However, through their perseverance and incredible skill on the field, these players revolutionized baseball and ignited change in the way the american people viewed women’s place in society.
When the league first formed, it wasn’t completely unheard of to have women playing baseball. The Dolly Vardens were a team of African-American women who were paid players- two years before any men’s team! (Pickles 2012) As Cathy Pickles, a National Women’s History Museum staff member, outlines: “After Amelia Bloomer designed her famous Turkish-style pants, women donned them and took to the ballpark as “Bloomer Girls” who traveled the country competing against male teams. They earned their living playing solid ball from the 1890s until the early 1930s.” However, the AAGPBL broke barriers by being the first recorded women’s league and eventually expanded to include ten teams all throughout the Midwest. For many of these young women, this was the first time they could play organized ball and get paid for it.
For both the owners and the players, the league was a mutually beneficial solution to the lack of...


... middle of paper ...


...history. (King 2012)
When they picked up their bats and stepped up to plate, these women weren’t thinking that they started a feminist revolution. They simply loved the game and knew they could make a pretty penny doing it. However, their skill and bravery proved to transcend gender boundaries in their time, and inspire others to follow suit in the future. As described in Kerry Candaele’s article on the history of women in baseball: “they were not behind the scene, they were the scene.” (Candaele 2012) Despite the impractical uniforms, makeup kits, and the unseen thumb of their male supervisors, these women changed the face of sports and paved the way for other trailblazers in the battle for equality across all fronts. In the end, like former player Dotty Kamenshek noted, “At first they came to see the girls. But we won them over with good baseball.” (Kamenshek 1993)

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