60 years after the NY Yankees rejected her, a woman finally got that bat girl job

I hate the New York Yankees. So, it is with deep-seated loathing that today’s blog post not only features the Evil Empire but casts the organization in a positive light.

Whatever. They’re still in fourth place in the AL East.

Our story begins in 1961.

The Yankees won the World Series that year. They also crushed the dreams of a ten-year-old aspiring ball girl from Connecticut faster than a Buick Skylark windshield under the weight of a fallen oak tree branch. Check out this June 23 letter from General Manager Roy Hamey:

Dear Gwen:

Many thanks for your nice letter which was received in this morning’s mail.

While we agree with you that girls are certainly as capable as boys, and no doubt would be an attractive addition on the playing field, I am sure you can understand that in a game dominated by men a young lady such as yourself would feel out of place in a dugout.

Again, many thanks for writing and your interest in the Yankees.

On Monday of this week, over sixty years later, the Yankees made things right. No, not on the baseball field, they lost again. But, they did invite that 10-year-old fan — now a 70-year-old retired social worker — to Yankee stadium to throw out the ceremonial first pitch, which was hecka-better than Bababooey‘s toss at Shea Stadium.

And she served as an honorary bat girl too.

In all seriousness, the Yankees have done a good job since 1961 of breaking gender barriers. The New York Times notes that Yankees assistant general manager Jean Afterman is one of the highest-ranking female executives in baseball. Her predecessor, Kim Ng, is the general manager of the Miami Marlins, the first woman to serve as general manager for any baseball team.

But, let’s not forget that the Yankees haven’t won the World Series since 2009, which is pathetic given the size of their payroll. Indeed, no NY major sports team has won a title since the NFL Giants in 2011. But, since they play their home games in New Jersey, that doesn’t count.

Did I happen to mention that I hate the Yankees?

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