Given the title “America's pastime,” it is no surprise that baseball has been designed to be entirely dominated by men both on and off the field. The sport has produced role models and idols for children across the country. It has created millionaires, and given individuals celebrity status. Baseball is powerful. It is obsessed over and sometimes even cried about. People always talk about the young boy who dreams of being a Major League Baseball star one day, but we forget about the little girl who is equally exposed to the glorification of the sport, yet not as exposed to playing the game itself. As young generations continue to defy gender stereotypes, female athletes assert their dominance in order to be given the same opportunities their male peers receive in athletics. General managers, assistant coaches, and rostered players in baseball were completely male-dominated roles for over 100 years until the recent decade when names like Mo’ne Davis, Kim Ng, and Genevieve Beacom have made history as some of the first women in the world to be recognized for their success in baseball. The debate on female athletes participating in men’s sports still stands, but it won’t for much longer.
In 2014, Little League star, Mo’ne Davis, was the first Little League player to be on the cover of Sports Illustrated after being the first girl to pitch a shutout in the history of the Little League World Series. Her talent and consistency not only allowed her to compete in the Little League World Series, a huge accomplishment, but allowed her to represent other young girls who have the same dreams as she does.
In 2020, Kim Ng made history when she became the general manager of the Miami Marlins and the first woman ever to be appointed GM in the MLB. Her experience in the offices of the White Sox, Yankees, and Dodgers qualified Ng to take the role as GM; however, Marlin’s GM was not the first GM position she ever qualified for. According to the MLB, Ng was interviewed for the GM position for the Dodgers in 2005. Now, I am not overly educated on the hiring process in professional baseball. Still,I would be happy to argue that Ng’s gender played a more vital role in deciding her future than her qualifications ever did, especially in 2005 when stereotypical gender roles had much more power over our society.
In January of this year, Genevieve Beacom became the first woman to pitch in the Australian Baseball League in. Not only did she make history in terms of her gender, but her success is even more impressive considering that Beacom is just 17 years old. Many successful stars of the ASL have made their way to play in the MLB, and it is exciting to hope that Beacom will become one of those players.
These women happened to have gotten to be “the firsts” at a few different roles in baseball, and although they have made history, they are not the only women to have contributed to their story. There are women who came before them, and there will be many who follow, but their reputation in the great American sport of baseball is making the future of gender inequalities in sports worldwide look much more optimistic.
Feature image credit: Jackie Jarosz