“Love is the most important thing in the world, but baseball is pretty good, too.”
– Yogi Berra
Baseball, of course, is America’s favorite pastime. It’s also where women’s professional sports leagues began in the United States.
If you’ve seen the 1992 Hollywood hit “A League of Their Own,” you’ve gotten a good, albeit somewhat fictionalized, introduction to the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League, the first women’s professional sports league of its kind. Formed in 1943 by Philip K. Wrigley — the gum man, the Cubs man, and apparently the women’s baseball man! — the AAGPBL ran for 11 years until 1954.
I really thought we were past this point. I really hoped that enough people were investing in, watching and respecting women’s professional sports leagues now that these leagues would have enough support to expand, not fold. Unfortunately, this was not the case last weekend when the Canadian Women’s Hockey League (CWHL) announced that it will discontinue operations on May 1.
Have you ever heard the phrase “You play ball like a girl!” used as an insult? We have too. Throughout our lives. But the fact is, playing ball like a girl isn’t insulting. There are incredible, intelligent, insanely talented female athletes around the world and we want their voices to be heard. We want future generations of boys and girls to know that they can look up to athletes (male AND female) and see someone they can admire.