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United States National Women's Baseball Team

Ms. Inglish has spent 30 years working in medicine, psychology, STEM instruction, and aerospace education for Active USAF Civil Air Patrol.

A baseball is smaller than the softball in the hand of this woman.

A baseball is smaller than the softball in the hand of this woman.

Women's Baseball Has a Long History

It is exciting that American women's baseball has extended beyond its popular height in the 1940s during WWII, when the men were on the front lines. Films like A League of Their Own has brought this to public attention.

Women's baseball was played in Australia in the 1930s as well.

Then came the 1950s and 1960s, in which women played few sports and none at all in many schools, let alone baseball instead of softball. My elementary school held footraces and if a girl ever won, a teacher, usually female, would always loudly announce that the win did not count because of her gender. By the high school years, we had some pretty angry girls and no women's sports.

The Title IX Education Amendments of 1972, under the US Department of Labor, changed that injustice and lack of opportunity. Today, additional sports are adding women's divisions often in schools and the Olympiad.

Regardless of all this, many people do not realize that America has an official world class Women's Baseball Team under USABaseball.

USABaseball Women's Team

The American women's team is featured on the website of USABaseball.com in archives for years 2004 through 2012, but the national team is still busy. In fact, our Stars and Stripes team completed the 2017 USA Baseball Women's National Team Development Program with a win in both games of a double header against Canada Leaf and Canada Maple. The American team for 2018 will begin the selection process in June of that year.

Meanwhile, the strongest and most organized women's teams seem to be in the United States. Major female ball players for 2015 are listed by Major League Baseball at the website mlb.mlb.com/usa_baseball/roster_womens.jsp.

The number of runs scored per season by the team has improved markedly during those years of 2004 through 2012, from 33 to 114 home runs. Runs Batted In (RBIs) increased from 27 to 102.

Stolen bases increased from 7 to 46.

The USA women's team competes in tournaments against international proponents in Australia, Japan, China, India, Korea, South America, Canada, Cuba, and others.

The women's team current holds 34 members and new member are recruited from 17-and-older players yearly, with 16-year-olds eligible for a training program two years out. Other programs include ages 11 through 15, and even some younger beginning players.

Some associated umbrella organizations include the American Amateur Baseball Congress, Amateur Athletic Union (AAU), Babe Ruth Baseball and the Little League.

As a team, USA women's baseball won at least six medals: three gold medals, one silver, and two bronze medals in biennial competitions from 2004 through 2015, the most recent Pan Am Games where the team won gold. An American team is ready to compete again in 2019.

Top Three US Women and Their Batting Averages in 2017

Data from USABaseball.com, March 29, 2018.

NameBatting Average

Tamara Holmes

.765

Malaika Underwood

.579

Brittany Gomez

.556

National Women's Baseball Team Batting Avg.

These and other statistics available at USABaseball.com

YearTeam Avg. Batting Average

2012

.359

2010

.375

2008

.426

2006

.379

2004

.348

Women Players to Watch

Several female ball players have become record holders and/or role models for future women.

Malaika Underwood, on the 2015 Gold Medal Team

Of the women on Team USA for baseball, the name of Malaika Underwood appears many times as a record holder. She has been on Team USA four times since 2006 and has worked for IMG Worldwide, a global company involved in sports, fashion, and media. She is Senior Director of IMG Licensing.

You can find Malaika and the National Women's Baseball Team, based in Durham, North Carolina, on Twitter at https://twitter.com/USABaseballWNT.

Stacy Piagno, Pitcher at the 2015 Pan Am Games

Stacy pitched the first women's no-hitter at this tournament. In 2016, she signed on with the professional men's team, Sonoma Stompers, in California.

Ila Borders

A firefighter and EMT in Gilbert Arizona, Borders played professional baseball as a pitcher for four years on men's minor league teams in the late 1990s. She became the first woman to win a men's professional baseball game.

Tiffany Brooks

In 2010, Brooks became the first female pitcher (brooksbasa.us/#!meet-tiffany-brooks) and second woman in the 21st century baseball to sign with a men's ball club, the Big Bend/Alpine Texas Cowboys of the Continental Baseball League.

I never lose. Either I win or I learn.

-- Tiffany Brooks

Sarah Hudek

An American, Sarah was the first woman player to receive a scholarship to play college baseball in February 2015. She played with the 2015 Pan Am Games gold-winning US team.

Melissa Mayeux

In 2017, this 16-year-old French player was the first woman ever added to Major League Baseball's international registrations This made her eligible to be signed by America's Major League clubs.

An American, Sarah Hudek was the first woman player to receive a scholarship to play college baseball in February 2015.

Pro Women Players During WWII

Chicago Cubs owner Philip K. Wrigley (of Wrigley Stadium fame) organized the All-American Girls Softball League in 1943, but it became the All-American Girls Baseball League (AAGBL) and lasted until 1954, when men's major league baseball was gaining popularity through television.

However, by 1948, the women's league had 10 teams in the Midwest, 1,000,000 fans in attendance and 600 players.

A few women played on the Negro Baseball League teams in the 1950s and a few men played on women's teams made up of Bloomer Girls (1890 - 1934), named for a woman who designed loose pants for baseball play.

Dorothy "Dottie" Kamenshek

Kamenshek of Norwood, Ohio died in 2010 at age 84, having established a reputation as the top player in women's professional baseball during WWII, primarily with the Rockford Peaches.

Sports Illustrated named her among the 100 greatest female athletes of all time.

A special 1988 exhibit about the women's league opened at the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown NY and astounded people that had never heard of these women before.

Former New York Yankee first baseman Wally Pipp called Dorothy "Dottie" Kamenshek 'the fanciest-fielding first baseman I've ever seen, man or woman.'

— Dennis McLellan, Los Angeles Times

Today's Girls Make History in Little League

For about 100 years, Little League Baseball would not admit girls to its teams. The few times it did admit them, it booted them right back off those teams.

In 1972, 9-year-old Joanne Glusman played with the boy's team on the Broomall Red. After a few weeks, they expelled her for gender. The Little League presented "evidence" that girls have brittle bones and are too slow for baseball. A lawsuit was too expensive, but other suits were brought and in 1974, girls were allowed in.

In 2014, Mo'ne Davis (age 13) pitched an almost perfect season and World Series stretch, but chose to aim for the WNBA.

usa-national-womens-baseball-team

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2014 Patty Inglish MS

Comments

Patty Inglish MS (author) from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation on July 17, 2014:

@teaches12345 - I think the sport needs more publicity. Many other sports probably do as well. Thanks for reading!

Dianna Mendez on July 16, 2014:

Nice article on a little known sport for women. I have to admit I didn't realize this was still in existence. Good to know women have other options as a career in sports.

Patty Inglish MS (author) from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation on July 13, 2014:

@Gaarf Rosewell - The new players should be fun to watch! Thanks for commenting!

Gaarf Rosewell on July 13, 2014:

Baseball is a great game and all should be given the chance to play and enjoy. Thanks for an interesting read.

Play ball! :)

Patty Inglish MS (author) from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation on July 10, 2014:

It would have been great fun to see the Bloomers compete, wouldn't it?

Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on July 10, 2014:

Great article and very interesting thank you. Go Bloomers

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