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Why isn’t there more women’s baseball?

Jun 8, 2014, 9:38 AM EST

women's baseball

Emma Span has an editorial in the New York Times noting that, despite what most people think, softball is not “women’s baseball.” It’s a totally different sport and that women can and should be playing baseball in greater numbers. They’re not, though, and after walking through the history of women and girls in baseball and the misinterpretation of the two sports and, in some cases, Title IX, she concludes:

What if we just admitted that softball and baseball are not, in fact, “separate but equal” but entirely different sports? There is no rational basis to claim that girls can’t throw overhand, run 90 feet between bases or handle a hardball. And there is no reason but sexism to prevent them from doing so.

It is rather nuts that there aren’t women’s baseball teams in high school and college. It’s even more nuts to think that the same women who excel in softball, basketball and other sports wouldn’t do the same thing in baseball.

A good, thought-provoking read.

126 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. proudlycanadian - Jun 8, 2014 at 9:47 AM

    Interesting story. Time for a women’s baseball lobby. As David Ortiz has shown, there is crying in baseball.

  2. aresachaela - Jun 8, 2014 at 10:05 AM

    Good question, there should be a league there in US or maybe Canada. As a woman like me, I’d be really happy if more women plays it especially on a high level (not as high as MLB!!), but just on a state it’s well known.

    May the heavens blessed thy soul on who takes the initiative on doing this. Our governments are full of booze cause they don’t understand the TRUE IMPORTANCE OF THIS GAME!!

    /throws plastic bottle.

    • renaado - Jun 8, 2014 at 10:33 AM

      Come on lets not go too far now, a league for women is possible but doin that takes time… A LOT of time, they need resources they need sponsors and most of all, money. A makeup league would be nice though.

      Japan currently has a league for women there though.

      • aresachaela - Jun 8, 2014 at 10:39 AM

        Ren… It’s JAPAN, people of all genders, young or old loves that game. Not very surprising…

  3. hojo20 - Jun 8, 2014 at 10:11 AM

    I’m sure high schools would allow a girl on the baseball team. Perhaps the girls want to play softball, where other girls they can be friends with are on the team.

    As far as colleges go, Providence College lost their men’s baseball team due to Title IX and now there’s an outcry over the lack of women’s baseball teams? Then end all softball if they want women’s baseball.

    • ltzep75 - Jun 8, 2014 at 10:29 AM

      That Providence College baseball program was a tough loss. Attempts to field a club baseball team thereafter were rebuffed – despite popular support among the student body and myriad signatures on a petition. I still don’t agree with the decision to cut baseball and give the men’s lacrosse team a brand new field. There was more than enough funding to go around, but not enough women’s sport programs to find a balance. Them’s the brakes I guess. When John McDonald retires that will be the last of the former program.

      I’m sure this same sad tale has been told by alumnus of other small regional universities impacted by externalities related to an otherwise well meaning collegiate sport regulation.

    • historiophiliac - Jun 8, 2014 at 11:06 AM

      So, you think girls play sports to have other girls to hang out with? Is that also why they join the military and go to college?

      • indaburg - Jun 8, 2014 at 4:27 PM

        Nice to see you back. :-) Where have you been?

      • historiophiliac - Jun 8, 2014 at 6:11 PM

        Sometimes you gotta step away to make sure the priorities stay right and you are doing the things you *want* to do, you know? It’s nice being missed though. And, I missed y’all too. How’s the orange juice?

      • indaburg - Jun 8, 2014 at 6:22 PM

        Oh my Jobu, the orange juice is awful. It needs vodka. I’ve been transported back in time, and it’s 2006 and we’re the Devil Rays again, and we suck. Except, I look older in the mirror so is it really 2006? It’s the Twilight Zone!

        I totally understand. I take periodic breaks from HBT too. It’s just that the Misogynistic Factor rose about 250% without you here. It was downright depressing.

      • historiophiliac - Jun 8, 2014 at 6:33 PM

        Yeah, I popped in on the Verlander post, and trust me, I did not miss that ish one bit. Still, you know I like a good rumble.

        At least you’ve been de-Leuke-ified. That’s gotta help you with the karma at least. I recommend a Tequila Sunrise — the sun’ll come out tomorrow…

      • indaburg - Jun 8, 2014 at 6:53 PM

        De-Leuke-ification couldn’t come soon enough. I think they need a smudging ceremony to get rid of his essence.

      • historiophiliac - Jun 8, 2014 at 6:59 PM

        The evidence against Evan Reed is with the prosecutor now — the cops finished their part of the investigation. I’m half holding my breath to see how it shakes down. Even now I have to talk myself up to cheering for him when he comes in. Go, maybe rapist! Bleh.

      • indaburg - Jun 8, 2014 at 6:24 PM

        Not to mention, the intelligence quotient dropped about 175%. These numbers may not be mathematically accurate.

  4. lyon810 - Jun 8, 2014 at 10:20 AM

    Is there any demand (from women) for baseball leagues? If women wanted to play baseball in large enough numbers someone would catch on and start up a league of sorts.

    It’s asinine to think by having a league that women will play. Who in their right mind would fund such an endeavor on the lone notion that “they can play so they will play”? Of course women can run 90 feet and throw overhand, but surely not enough want to to justify an already existing league. Not to say one shouldn’t be made, but when there is a clear demand for it beyond a mere “why not” hypothetical.

    It’s not “sexism”, not enough women want to partake at this juncture. If there were we would have leagues. Move on, there is no underlying issue of gender inequality here.

    • historiophiliac - Jun 8, 2014 at 11:11 AM

      To review your argument: You ask if women want to play baseball and then proceed to assert that not enough of them want to that it justifies segregation, so you dismiss the idea. 1) Perhaps not a lot of women do want to play baseball professionally, but you could at least ask us before deciding what we do and don’t want. 2) Are you considering the option of integrating baseball instead?

      • lyon810 - Jun 8, 2014 at 11:35 AM

        If integration was at all a possibility then sure. But I don’t see that being the case. Not because I want to “keep them down”, but it’s highly unlikely in our lifetime.

        So, you’re problem with my argument is that I didn’t ask women if they wanted to play before deciding on their behalf…I don’t need to ask women, the demographics and numbers alone decided that for you. Don’t like it, change the data and prove me wrong.

        Again, I have ZERO issue with women playing even professional baseball at high levels, but realistically, it’s so far off (even that is an understatement) that we are arguing over something that at best, is purely hypothetical at this point.

      • historiophiliac - Jun 8, 2014 at 11:49 AM

        I’m sorry, what data? You keep saying that. If you are pointing to the absence of women in baseball to prove women aren’t interested in playing, surely you see the logic problem there. I’m not trying to prove you anything — except that you are trying to speak for women without any knowledge on the topic and to assert that we do not need men to speak for us. Thankyouverymuch.

      • apmn - Jun 8, 2014 at 12:37 PM

        Are female players expressly prohibited in MLB?

      • [citation needed] fka COPO - Jun 8, 2014 at 12:42 PM

        But in 1952, Major League Baseball officially banned women’s contracts.

        Mentioned in the article

      • lukedunphysscienceproject - Jun 8, 2014 at 1:27 PM

        Men’s and Women’s Club teams spring up organically on college campuses for all kinds of sports that are not sanctioned or paid for or in any way supported, at least initially, by the schools. I’ve seen clubs for everything from bocci ball to cricket to frisbee golf to australian rules football.

        Sometimes, a sport will start this way and become so popular that the schools will be forced to acknowledge it. Rugby was like this. In the 70’s, rugby was largely ignored and even discouraged as being too dangerous for schools to officially support. By the eighties, it was the largest club sport in the country. Today, despite still being considered a club level sport on most campuses, it has it’s own nationally televised championships.

        My long winded point is that all of these clubs started the same. A small group of people, men and women alike said “We want to play this sport. Anybody else?” Hung up a bunch of flyers, paid dues or held fundraisers to buy equipment and just started playing. Nobody waited for anyone to start a league and invite them to come play.

        If this hasn’t happened for women’s baseball, it’s a legitimate question to ask why. I don’t have the answer, but I have too much faith in the young women of this country to believe it’s because they are waiting around for someone to give them the opportunity.

      • historiophiliac - Jun 8, 2014 at 1:33 PM

        Did you read the article Craig linked to? And, again, there’s a logic problem in your assumptions. Seriously, if 25-30% of participants in Little League are female and in just a few years, females are essentially out of baseball, it would be wise to inquire as to what happened there and see if there is a systemic/gender problem — as opposed to assuming without evidence that women don’t want to play.

    • [citation needed] fka COPO - Jun 8, 2014 at 11:38 AM

      but surely not enough want to to justify an already existing league

      Who said anything about making a league? Ms Span is arguing that woman aren’t given the chance in college/high school to develop their baseball skills, because softball != baseball, to see if a future woman’s team could be something more than a side show.

      • lyon810 - Jun 8, 2014 at 11:45 AM

        Like anything in life, if you really want something THAT badly (i.e. develop your skills) there is a way to make it happen. Women throughout history who have overcome, especially gender barriers, did not let something as simple as the “boys didn’t let me play” stand in their way.

        There is always an opportunity if you want it badly enough. Develop your skills on your own, look for pick up games, whatever you need to do. Instead, we live in a society where we are taught to cry and complain about any obstacles we encounter.

        People don’t respect your emotional baggage, regardless of gender people will respect determination and hard work. Of course not everywhere, but if you want it that much you’ll find the proper circumstances for yourself.

      • [citation needed] fka COPO - Jun 8, 2014 at 11:50 AM

        Develop your skills on your own, look for pick up games, whatever you need to do.

        This is virtually impossible in baseball. You can’t pitch to yourself nor can you simulate a pitcher while in the cages. You need people around you to develop your skills.

        Instead, we live in a society where we are taught to cry and complain about any obstacles we encounter.

        Who is complaining?

        People don’t respect your emotional baggage

        Where is this coming from?

      • historiophiliac - Jun 8, 2014 at 11:54 AM

        It’s our fault, really, COPO. We let the patriarchy keep us down. If only we wanted it more, that would make them hire us. Don’t you understand, or do you need him to mansplain it to you some more? We have EMOTIONAL baggage. (Where the eff did that come from???? Why did he have to inject emotion into it?)

      • Jack Marshall - Jun 8, 2014 at 12:14 PM

        No, she’s saying that the reason is sexism, which is crap. The best two players on my son’s Little League teams were girls. They were stars; they were treated with respect. Both dropped out by the time they were 13. None of the boys of comparable ability did. Whose “sexism”?

      • historiophiliac - Jun 8, 2014 at 12:27 PM

        Did you ask them why they dropped out, Mr. Marshall?

      • [citation needed] fka COPO - Jun 8, 2014 at 12:36 PM

        They were stars; they were treated with respect.

        According to whom?

        No, she’s saying that the reason is sexism, which is crap.

        No she’s not. Read it again.

      • zackd2 - Jun 8, 2014 at 1:08 PM

        “This is virtually impossible in baseball. You can’t pitch to yourself nor can you simulate a pitcher while in the cages. You need people around you to develop your skills.”

        Little league, travel teams, American legion leagues, batting cages, baseball clinics, practicing with friends, etc.

        There are ways to improve at baseball, for both boys and girls.

      • [citation needed] fka COPO - Jun 8, 2014 at 2:04 PM

        Little league, travel teams, American legion leagues, batting cages, baseball clinics, practicing with friends, etc.

        There are ways to improve at baseball, for both boys and girls.

        And many of those can’t be done on your own, which is what I was responding to.

  5. droman79 - Jun 8, 2014 at 10:21 AM

    Something new to complain about. Softball has been the traditional sport, and so this what they grow up playing. Not everything is a conspiracy to hold a group behind…

    I used to run an adult baseball league in Las Vegas. We had plenty of women come out to play, all could handle their own against the men. I have no doubt that female baseball teams could be competitive and entertaining, but I honestly believe this is a case of competing against history. You can’t just build high school and college programs out of nothing, you’d have to start this at the little league level (girls only leagues).

    • Old Gator - Jun 8, 2014 at 10:29 AM

      Ronda Rousey batting cleanup!

    • historiophiliac - Jun 8, 2014 at 11:18 AM

      Your argument: there is no conspiracy to hold women back and softball is traditional. Then you assert that it would be a fight against history (thank you for acknowledging the power of history), while giving evidence that there are capable women interested in playing baseball. Your “evidence” completely undermines your premise, you realize? Historical sexism was a conspiracy to hold women back and it is quite a fight to overcome history.

  6. sfm073 - Jun 8, 2014 at 10:27 AM

    This stuff annoys me. Quit telling other people how to spend their money. If this person thinks there should be women baseball leagues then start one up. My guess is she doesn’t want to risk losing money on something that’s going to fail.

  7. tn16 - Jun 8, 2014 at 10:41 AM

    I know for a fact that lots of girl quit playing baseball and move to softball in HS, this is because it costs more money for them. On Road trips you have 4 or 5 guys to a 2 bedroom hotel room, but If there’s only 1 girl well she is going to have her own room. As well as the locker room atmosphere HS fields usally only have the home and away locker room. They don’t have a men’s and women’s change room. These are just some issues that I have come across when I am playing in a Higher level Baseball league

  8. papajack1259 - Jun 8, 2014 at 10:42 AM

    As a young boy in the late 50s early 60s the best ball player by far was a girl. She was lights out pitching and tremendous fielder and a line drive power hitter there is no doubt in my mind certain woman could compete on the field with men…..BUT if you think Jackie Robinson had problems …it would have to be one tough broad!
    And I say that with all do respect for the other gender

  9. thomas844 - Jun 8, 2014 at 10:42 AM

    I remember watching that reality show MLB Network had recently with Tim Wakefield and Kevin Millar to find baseball’s next knuckleballer. They brought in a 15-year-old girl who threw a nasty knuckleball and struck out Kevin Millar. She made him look foolish at the plate. Millar may be retired, but he was still a solid MLB hitter.

  10. jerze2387 - Jun 8, 2014 at 10:53 AM

    because THERES NO CRYING IN BASEBALL!!!

    • proudlycanadian - Jun 8, 2014 at 10:59 AM

      David Ortiz proved that there is crying in baseball.

    • jerze2387 - Jun 8, 2014 at 11:46 AM

      So I’m assuming that the thumbs down haven’t heard of a movie called a league of their own, and took that as a sexist comment as opposed to a movie reference smh

      • [citation needed] fka COPO - Jun 8, 2014 at 11:53 AM

        It’s a dumb comment in the movie, and a dumb one to make in real life.

      • jerze2387 - Jun 8, 2014 at 8:47 PM

        @[citation needed] fka COPO , youre proving there is at least crying in baseball blogs, because youre doing a solid job of crying foul.

        Your new name shouldnt be fka copo, it could be “MannyMachadosTears”

      • [citation needed] fka COPO - Jun 8, 2014 at 9:15 PM

        Refuting stupid comments is crying now?

  11. yahmule - Jun 8, 2014 at 10:58 AM

    Take 3:14 out of your morning to hear the story of baseball pioneer Maria Pepe.

    http://www.makers.com/maria-pepe

    • historiophiliac - Jun 8, 2014 at 12:39 PM

      That’s great. “Little League Libber” indeed.

  12. Stiller43 - Jun 8, 2014 at 11:00 AM

    Why not? Because theres no demand for it.

    • aresachaela - Jun 8, 2014 at 11:21 AM

      Says this ^ guy.

      Nice! Keep it up! Cause you have no idea what you’re talking about.

      • sportsfan18 - Jun 8, 2014 at 5:48 PM

        If there were truly DEMAND for it, it would be here and all over…

        It’s how some shots of liquor cost $1,300 a shot… it’s called demand…

        Paintings sell for tens and tens of millions of dollars…

        IF your buddies and you could put together a female league and make tens of millions in profit you would.

        If you could, it would ALREADY have been done.

        Go ahead, you who says there is demand, start a league then. It should be EASY to do with demand.

        It is you who has NO idea what he’s talking about.

        People do NOT leave money on the table. Rich people who are looking for ways to make more money would have done this already if it would have made them millions and millions…

        Uh, they haven’t because of lack of demand.

      • historiophiliac - Jun 8, 2014 at 6:41 PM

        People leave money on the table all the time, sportsfan. For a long time companies did not market or sell to women or minorities (and obviously some still don’t — and I’ll put MLB in that group). Trying to reduce it to a lack of demand is naive at best and disingenuous at worst. I think you’re just being oblivious to reality here. It seems pretty apparent that you are arguing without reading the article Craig linked to — or you might have a more nuanced view of the argument. Come back with some actual facts and evidence instead of your unrealistic economic theory, and you’ll get real traction.

  13. willis668 - Jun 8, 2014 at 11:31 AM

    Cause girls can’t throw overhand, let alone pitch. This is why softball was invented.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/throw-like-a-girl-with-some-practice-you-can-do-better/2012/09/10/9ffc8bc8-dc09-11e1-9974-5c975ae4810f_story.html

    Title IX is a disaster already. Extending it to baseball might be enough to kill it. I fully support this endeavor.

    • historiophiliac - Jun 8, 2014 at 12:25 PM

      Did you read that article? It is not your logic-friend. It makes you look bad, and then you’ll be stuck standing by yourself around the punch bowl while everyone else gets their data on. So you should not use it.

      • humbug668 - Jun 8, 2014 at 1:03 PM

        You’re ridiculous. Of course it supports my argument. The studies show that across cultures, and without exception, girls throw worse than boys. It’s not cultural bias that causes it; it’s inborn, natural traits.

        True, the article also points out that with rigorous training and intense practice, girls can get better at throwing. With hard work, they can even throw like a boy! Wow!

        But Craig is proposing a massive system overhaul–girls teams at all levels in numbers equal to boys teams. This would be a disaster because few girls would be willing to train hard enough to approach respectability. Little girls can’t pitch. At the high school level, a team would be lucky to have one or two competent throwers.

        It’s a ridiculous idea, but I hope you all try it. The further we push these leftist ideals, the sooner we’ll realize how silly they are.

      • historiophiliac - Jun 8, 2014 at 1:18 PM

        Hmmm, you have multiple accounts then?

        I appreciate that you concede that the article does indicate women can train to throw better and be competitive — which does undermine the argument the original poster (you?) made.

        I know there’s probably no more horrifying notion to you than that girls receive equal treatment to boys, but you are making the same logic fail as so many on this page. You are conflating opportunity with segregation — which just shows where your mind is. It might be that high schools find that the “little girls” there want to play baseball and they scrap their softball teams altogether and switch. It might be that the “little girls” who are interested in baseball join the little boys’ team, while the boys interested in softball join that team. Who knows? We could re-imagine it however we want. Oh, the ridiculous, awesome, democratic, fan-freaking-tastic baseball possibilities!

      • humbug668 - Jun 8, 2014 at 1:24 PM

        Different computers.

        I can tell you what the results of this plan would be. It’s not hard to predict:

        (1) Separate girls baseball leagues. Girls wouldn’t play in the boys leagues because they aren’t good enough. They would get their separate league–with their own equipment, uniforms, etc. And the play on the field would be absolutely terrible. Unwatchable. Walks all day because pitchers can’t hit the strike zones. Eventually, rules would be changed to accommodate how bad the girls are. These rules, over time, would approach the current rules of softball.

        (2) Due to Title IX, the boys baseball teams would receive less funding.

        Yay justice!!!

      • historiophiliac - Jun 8, 2014 at 1:29 PM

        LMAO! 1) Your assertion that women can’t hit targets is rubbish not based in fact. 2) The worst thing in the world is that guys lose funding so girls can have some and that makes you hate justice???? It’s just terribly delicious to watch folks like you suffer equality. Have a nice day. You just made mine.

      • humbug668 - Jun 8, 2014 at 1:39 PM

        Like I said, I hope this plan comes to pass. The sooner things fall apart, the sooner we can begin to rebuild the proper way.

      • [citation needed] fka COPO - Jun 8, 2014 at 2:23 PM

        This would be a disaster because few girls would be willing to train hard enough to approach respectability

        I’m glad you are so tuned into what girls would want/be willing to do. Please continue sharing more of these pearls of wisdom.

    • paperlions - Jun 8, 2014 at 1:03 PM

      Title IX isn’t a disaster. The way in which institutions responded to Title IX was a disaster. All Title IX did was say they had to offer equal opportunities for men and women. Institutions choose poorly in the way they went about creating an equal number of opportunities.

  14. alangyo - Jun 8, 2014 at 11:33 AM

    Sure softball and baseball arent the same. but womens and mens lacrosse isnt the same either…the men’s college basketball is bigger than female’s ball….etc.

    softball seems to have more different rules/regulations than baseball than the divide in other similar sports, but most gender divided sports arent exactly the same.

    It’d be really cool if more people played baseball because then more people would love baseball. but, i guess, i dont really buy the argument that just cause softball isnt identical to baseball women need/want to play verbatim baseball.

    There are female football leagues because there is a demand. I feel like more and more people play softball (especially recreational) because it’s far easier to get that going than actual baseball. Looking at DC, there are a myriad of softball leagues but only a handful of baseball leagues….

    i dunno. people like what they like, mostly because they’ll sort of always liked it this way…

    this comment was pointless. i apologize for anyone who read it…i am kind of curious though whether others think lacrosse or basketball are the same for men and women….cause they dont appear to be the same to me.

  15. mybrunoblog - Jun 8, 2014 at 11:36 AM

    Lots of reasons why girls don’t play much baseball.
    1. The girls who do play baseball usually veer away from the game around age 9 or 10. Around age 10 the boys begin to get noticeably stronger and faster. The majority of the girls simply can’t keep up. Since most towns have girls softball leagues they drift over to softball putting baseball behind them.
    2. Human nature kicks in. Even the girls who can keep up with the boys at age 10 and beyond often want to play with people like themselves i.e. other girls.
    3. Our culture. Like it or not it is widely believed that girls play softball and the boys play baseball.
    4. The science of our human condition. Men have stronger upper body strength, are usually faster and bigger in size. Now some will label me a misogynist but we can’t deny science. Yes, I’m sure there are certainly examples of big strong woman who can out throw and outrun a man but they are the exception not the rule.
    My feeling are that I think it would be great if woman played more baseball. If it made them happy and didn’t bother anyone why not? Go have fun. That said at the highest level I prefer to to see the best players play and that is usually a male player. No disrespect, no misogamy just perfect honesty.
    It’s a beautiful day here in the north east. Let’s play two!

    • aresachaela - Jun 8, 2014 at 11:59 AM

      It’s about endurance and durability, not just big guys with big muscles out there. “It’s about culture” as you said, yes(probably,dunno… I dont live there in the States). Mostly parents or peers are a factor in this. Both genders are equal on abilities, if you care about something then go for it. Determination on doing something you care most gives you confidence. So PLAY BALL!!

      • renaado - Jun 8, 2014 at 12:21 PM

        Aren’t you playin volleyball already? If your goin for a two sport athlete route then you might as well forget it. There’s no Baseball here at our college campus. Just as you said on top… Our sportin government literally have no support for this game. There selfishness on bein “as is” will soon bite on em. Sooner or later they’ll realize it’s a big world out there with different things yet to be discovered and to be tried, we can’t just stick to one game all over and over again… I’m lookin at you basketball. I agree with you though Achaela, everyone of us are equal, if we want to learn and try something then we go for it. Everyone of us has likes and dislikes… So playin the game we truly care about not just gives us confidence but also a chance to discover our potential.

    • historiophiliac - Jun 8, 2014 at 12:16 PM

      #3 is your only real argument. The others are really unfounded assumptions that sprout from #3 (girls only want to play with girls, girls switch to softball because prepubescent boys are so much stronger than prepubescent girls, pseudo-science). Frankly, I don’t know why you make a big deal about upper body strength and dismiss lower body strength. The legs are important in baseball too. The tell here is your assertion that you just want to see the best players play and that is usually a male — and I don’t know how you know that since you aren’t getting the chance to see women play professionally. I’m not arguing that women get to play necessarily. I just want to point out the logic flaw of making assumptions not based on evidence here.

      • renaado - Jun 8, 2014 at 12:42 PM

        Upper body strength results in power, while an athlete with a small stature also have its advantage by bein speedy. All in all, both statures have it’s advantages and disadvantages.

      • historiophiliac - Jun 8, 2014 at 12:45 PM

        Legs are important for hitting too. You don’t just hit with your arms.

      • [citation needed] fka COPO - Jun 8, 2014 at 12:45 PM

        Upper body strength results in power,

        The majority of strength that’s generated in baseball is through your legs, both in hitting and pitching. This wouldn’t be an issue for women.

      • historiophiliac - Jun 8, 2014 at 12:55 PM

        Ha! Faster.

  16. simon94022 - Jun 8, 2014 at 11:41 AM

    My daughter’s Little League has a softball program, and it draws girls from other Little Leagues around the area who don’t want to get stuck in baseball. As one of the coaches told me, the baseball pattern is that at the beginner level girls make up 25 or 30 percent of each team. But they tend to drop out at a faster rate than boys, so that you’re usually left with one outstanding girl on the team. Often those girls would rather be on an all girls team in softball.

    That is a perfectly natural outcome. It has nothing to do with discrimination unless you are naive enough to believe that girls in the aggregate have identical preferences to boys in the aggregate, i.e. That the only reason girls and boys tend to like and do different things is social conditioning and discrimination. But that’s just ideology, with no scientific basis.

    • historiophiliac - Jun 8, 2014 at 12:44 PM

      For your daughter’s sake, you should try to become less deficient in social science.

  17. raysfan1 - Jun 8, 2014 at 12:00 PM

    The phenomenon is not restricted to US baseball although the linked article deals only with baseball in the US. The ISF has eesentially been told their petition to back into the Olympics will fall on deaf ears because baseball is not in the Olympics. Even though they are separate sports, and have separate governing bodies, the IOC treats them as if they are the same except that one is for women, one for men.

  18. thomas844 - Jun 8, 2014 at 12:18 PM

    What about men who want to play fast-pitch softball instead of baseball?

    • [citation needed] fka COPO - Jun 8, 2014 at 12:41 PM

      What about them?

      • thomas844 - Jun 8, 2014 at 4:38 PM

        Well, if it’s sexist that not enough women are playing baseball, isn’t it also sexist that men’s fast-pitch softball isn’t a thing? I mean, fast-pitch softball is just as difficult as baseball in terms of hitting, at least. You have to pick the ball up from a lower angle, the pitches tend to rise, and you have to shorten your swing greatly because the reaction time is usually just as fast or sometimes faster than a major league pitch.

      • [citation needed] fka COPO - Jun 8, 2014 at 4:50 PM

        Well, if it’s sexist that not enough women are playing baseball, isn’t it also sexist that men’s fast-pitch softball isn’t a thing?

        There are men’s fast-pitch softball leagues. A three sec google search lead me to this:

        http://www.teamusa.org/USA-Softball/Play-ASA/Adult-Player-Information/Fast-Pitch-Player-Information

        And there were many other hits.

  19. zackd2 - Jun 8, 2014 at 12:25 PM

    I don’t follow. Do high school or college baseball teams ban girls from trying out?

    • renaado - Jun 8, 2014 at 12:32 PM

      Depends on the managers “state of mind”.

      • zackd2 - Jun 8, 2014 at 12:42 PM

        A manager can ban a girl from trying out? Those stories would hit the local media and expand immediately and those coaches would lose their jobs.

      • renaado - Jun 8, 2014 at 12:49 PM

        Bet they’ll try somethin to cover it up, like it’ll be the end of their lives if somethin like this comes out.

      • historiophiliac - Jun 8, 2014 at 1:05 PM

        zackd2, I wish you would read the article Craig linked to, as it specifically addresses your question (and refutes your assumption).

      • zackd2 - Jun 8, 2014 at 1:25 PM

        The article talks about the girl being banned, due to the school districts interpretation of Title IX. Shame on them. That’s 1 example of a girl being banned by a school district and 1,259 making high school baseball team.

  20. 4cornersfan - Jun 8, 2014 at 1:21 PM

    If a 5 tool woman, or even a 3 tool woman, ever shows up with the ability to play AAA ball there will be some MLB team that will give her a shot, if for nothing else than to draw the fans. If a woman with a nasty slider, decent fastball and consistently good location ever shows she will get a chance. However, women seem to be in the same boat as 99.9% of us men who wanted to play MLB ball. Sorry, no gender bias here. Just a lot of people who do not have the physical ability plus skill to play the game at the highest level.

    • historiophiliac - Jun 8, 2014 at 1:24 PM

      How would said woman have the opportunity to develop those skills? You didn’t read the article, did you?

      • zackd2 - Jun 8, 2014 at 1:33 PM

        1,259 are playing high school baseball developing their skills.

      • historiophiliac - Jun 8, 2014 at 1:41 PM

        And so many more who get funneled into softball instead. If you think that’s the lone incident of a girl being denied the opportunity to play on a team, you are naive. The point is that a coach can bar a girl from playing and he will not lose his job or face repercussions, contrary to what you said before.

        Also, those 1,259 young women playing baseball are pursuing the futile as they cannot play in MLB — and not because they don’t want to or have the opportunity to try out and can’t demonstrate they aren’t good enough.

  21. DelawarePhilliesFan - Jun 8, 2014 at 1:22 PM

    There is misinterpretation at all of Title IX. A school with a baseball program could have no softball team at all and still be Title IX compliant. Title IX is a numbers game, period

    No institution is required to provide “equal sports”, they have to provide opportunity to both genders under a very convoluted 3 prong system invoked in 1978 by the Department of Education (thank you very much Jimmy Carter). An institution needs to fulfill one of 3 prongs to be Title IX compliant in athletics. Prong 1 is to show that overall participation – not team by team, overall – is commensurate with its population within 5% (i.e. if you are 50-50 male to female, you can not be greater than 52-48 male to female). Prong 2 is that you show you are growing your programs and offerings for the under represented gender (which worked easily in the 80’s and 90’s as women’s programs grew anyway), and Prong 3 is that you can demonstrate that your participation is commensurate with the interest level at your school. Most schools will not touch prong 3 at all, as it is very murkey how you would sample. In any event – a cursory look at the statutes and court cases that have defined the 3 prongs will show that no court or agency has ever said you have to have identical sports. There is no women football, and men’s volleyball is rare. You just have to show that you have equal opportunities for athletic participation as defined by the 3 prongs.

    None of this is to say there should not be women’s baseball, and some of the issues around sexism are valid. But there is no Title IX issue at all with having softball rather than womens baseball – provided one of the 3 prongs is met

  22. metalhead65 - Jun 8, 2014 at 1:45 PM

    how about because nobody cares? they can try and ram it down out throats like every other woman’s sport and I and most male fans will continue to ignore it. find one that can throw 95mph or hit a pitch like that and we might care otherwise not interested.

    • [citation needed] fka COPO - Jun 8, 2014 at 2:18 PM

      how about because nobody cares?

      Utterly shocked that the luddite doesn’t care. Thanks for your contributions to this post, along with all the rest of your BS.

    • baberuthslegs - Jun 8, 2014 at 2:44 PM

      Best pitcher I ever saw, Greg Maddux, threw 84 mph fastballs.

      • metalhead65 - Jun 8, 2014 at 3:37 PM

        still faster than any woman. why is it so wrong not to care about it? I am a guy I want to do guy things and watch guy sports, does not make me a bad person.

      • doctorofsmuganomics - Jun 8, 2014 at 5:58 PM

        “I am a guy I want to do guy things and watch guy sports, does not make me a bad person.”

        everything else about you does though

      • nbjays - Jun 8, 2014 at 6:06 PM

        Nope, just a neanderthal.

  23. musketmaniac - Jun 8, 2014 at 2:26 PM

    I’ll take `all the way May`

  24. musketmaniac - Jun 8, 2014 at 2:29 PM

    Not to be a sexiest. If more women want more women`s sports. Than more Women would watch more women`s sports.

  25. yankeessuckameanone - Jun 8, 2014 at 2:33 PM

    I’ll tell you why, because no one gives a crap about women’s sports.

    • chiadam - Jun 8, 2014 at 3:06 PM

      This is actually exactly why there isn’t women’s baseball. People are always so quick to distance themselves from comments like that, but it’s true. If people’s need to be the King of PC blinds them from seeing that, I’m sorry. But it’s still a fact. Compare sports played by men and women at any level and tell me which one consistently has the women’s version outdraw (or come remotely close to) the men’s version. I came up with two: professional women’s tennis and figure skating. That’s it.

      • humbug668 - Jun 8, 2014 at 3:26 PM

        And we know why those two sports draw well. It’s not because of the women’s athletic prowess. It’s because of the tight, form-fitting clothing.

      • indaburg - Jun 8, 2014 at 4:55 PM

        Chiadam, women’s gymnastics also outdraws men’s gymnastics.

        Humbug, not exactly. In tennis, the women play a more skilled game. There are more rallies and more interesting points. The men’s game usually has fewer rallies and is simply duller. As a straight woman, the women could play in a burka for all I care. Although, I would care, because that would greatly inhibit their movement and that would suck, but you know what I mean. As for figure skating, I don’t really consider that a sport and I can’t explain why anyone watches the men’s, women’s, or couples’ version. Since women are the biggest watchers of figure skating, I assume they prefer the women’s figure skating because their costumes are prettier.

      • nbjays - Jun 8, 2014 at 6:10 PM

        Although you likely won’t acknowledge it as a sport simply because you don’t know much (if anything about it), I can tell you one sport where women could easily beat their male counterparts and the skill level is at least equal… curling.

      • historiophiliac - Jun 8, 2014 at 7:38 PM

        So, you are arguing that sexism justifies sexism? Because sexism causes people to watch more men’s sports that justifies discriminating against women — that argument seems compelling to you? BTW, you don’t know how many people might watch women play baseball because women don’t get a chance to play baseball. That’s the point.

        PS I can’t explain it, but every four years my father — who thinks women should not be allowed to play golf or billiards — suddenly becomes an expert on triple salchows and women’s figure skating. I don’t think that has any bearing whatsoever on his baseball viewing habits (or hockey or football) though.

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