One aspect of baseball people should be paying more attention to is the people who are breaking the barriers. When Jackie Robinson went to the Los Angeles Dodgers, he was the first African American to play in MLB. We want baseball to embrace cultural changes. MLB has also needed to include women in baseball.
Kim NG: The First of the Women in Baseball to Become a GM
Kim Ng just shattered the glass ceiling for women in baseball to be at the top levels of the game. Recently the Miami Marlins announced Kim Ng as the Marlins’ new general manager, making Ng the first woman in baseball history to be a GM. People reacted positively to the news, praising the Marlins for making this type of move.
To celebrate, I wanted to look over the times that women in baseball have received recognition. Whether real or fictional; whether good or bad.
Morgana the Kissing Bandit: The First of the Modern Era’s Women in Baseball
When people run onto a field in a baseball game, that usually means one thing; a person is looking for their 15 minutes of fame, but Morgana Roberts was a different person. Throughout the late 1960s, all the way to the mid-1990s, she got known as Morgana the Kissing Bandit.
When Morgana went on to the field in a random game, she would target one specific player. She would run over to that player and kiss them either on the cheek or lips. She would run around on the field until security grabbed her. Throughout her “career“, she went after many players like George Brett, Cal Ripken Jr. Len Barker, Frank Howard, Nolan Ryan, etc.
Toward the end of the ’90s, she would retire, after becoming such a significant phenomenon. Looking at the impact she had, her antics impacted not only her life but also other lives. She became one entertainer that the sports world loved. It’s fantastic to see that this woman made baseball funny. In a way, Morgana sort of became the first of the women in baseball in the modern era.
“A League of Their Own“: Women in Baseball During the 1940’s
When it comes to sports movies, I believe A League of Their Own is one of the best sports movies of all time, depicting how women in baseball saved the day (time and time again). The film stars many big names like Rosie O’Donnell, Madonna, Tom Hanks, and Geena Davis. The fictional women’s club got used when people wanted to watch baseball while World War II was happening.
Although the movie was fictional, it was based on the AAGPBL, a professional baseball league for women in the early to mid-1940s, when the AAGPBL (All American Girls Profesional Baseball League) was formed. The movie centered around the Rockford Peaches team. The film does an excellent job of referring to the time, showing that women playing baseball in the ’40s seemed a little weird.
Comedy was also a big part of this movie’s success. The quote, “There’s no crying in baseball” was a product of the film. Perhaps the best part about this movie is the amount of historical detail they put into making it. The amount of research they had to do helped the film make it as accurate as possible. The most amazing part is that anyone, especially women, can appreciate and enjoy this movie.
Having women in baseball is a crucial step in sports history. It would be nice for baseball to have more ideas like this for the future, as doing so could garner more attention for the sport and change baseball forever. For now, we can look back on these moments, as moments that changed baseball for the greater good. I say good luck with your new job Ms. Ng, and I hope you inspire other women to be like you.
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