Baseball is arguably America’s favorite pastime, and it is a pretty diverse game. Players not only come from across the United States but also from all over the world to join in their love for the game. Though baseball players are from many different ethnic backgrounds, the sport is not as diverse when it comes to the gender of the players.
Professional baseball is a man’s sport, and though there may be millions of women rooting for their favorite teams, all nine people on the field during game time are males. Without the representation of women on the field, many young female fans may lose touch with the sport over the years.
According to Meg Rowley, award-winning author of Baseball Prospectus, “I think it makes an incredible difference for women and girls – for all fans – to see people like them working in the game and playing the game. It makes those paths seem possible.”
For Rowley, it is important that baseball express its gratitude to one-half of its fanbase and attribute honor to women who are making a difference to the sport today. That is why she teamed up with the Seattle Mariners on Tuesday, August 15 for a pre-game panel to display what women are doing in baseball.
According to CBS Sports, “Prior to the game, the Mariners will host a ‘Women in Baseball’ panel, designed to ‘offer first-hand accounts from women who work in the baseball industry as they discuss the game today and their place in it.’”
This event was aimed towards the female fans of baseball, who may have previously felt underrepresented in the sport. The panel gave these fans the opportunity to learn about how these actual women in the field, who make many aspects of the game even possible, got to where they are.
“Female fans spend so much time and energy and money rooting for their favorite teams and players – we wanted to take that commitment seriously and put on an event that would recognize and celebrate the contributions women have already made to the game, while acknowledging the work left to be done to promote diversity in baseball front offices and media.”
Fortunately, the Seattle Mariners have many women and females working behind the scenes each day. The panel was able to highlight reporters, area scouts, public relations experts, and more for fans to see the plethora of possibilities of working in baseball as a woman.
The panel proved to be a success for the Seattle Mariners, as fans left the ballpark that day with a little bit more knowledge on the role and importance of women in the sport. “The response we’ve gotten to this event from fans of other teams has been very positive…So I hope this is the first of many Women in Baseball Nights.”
While the Mariners have made sweeping efforts to enhance the diversity in baseball today, there is still much more that can be done. Though it may be a while before any female player breaks the gender barrier, there is still plenty of work to be done behind the scenes, and many women have already stepped up to make the sport possible.
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