A level playing field for girls and boys
Parents always strive for what is best for their children, no matter what it takes. For many, this means working to ensure that our daughters get the same opportunities for success and happiness in life as our sons. We dream big for our daughters – we want them to go to the best college, get the best job, and have the best life they could hope for. But before it’s time for college essays and job applications, happiness begins when they are carefree kids.
There was a time not long ago when girls and boys were not on such a level playing field. It wasn’t until the 1970s – more than thirty years after Carl Stotz founded Little League International – that the first girls were allowed to take the field and swing a bat as bona fide little leaguers.
In 1973, in a town called Ypsilanti, Michigan, twelve-year-old Carolyn King would change the game for female ball players forever. That year, excited to play baseball alongside her friends and classmates, Carolyn tried out for a spot in her town’s Little League. Having held her own among the boys, Carolyn was selected for a spot on the Ypsilanti Orioles. Unfortunately, despite the support of her hometown, the officials at Little League Headquarters in Williamsport, PA were not so pleased with the draft.
At that time, Little League International had a rule that prohibited girls from even trying out for a little league baseball team, let alone playing in a game. After the threat of losing their status as members of the Little League Organization, Ypsilanti board members decided to pull Carolyn from the Orioles. But with the support of her family and her town, twelve-year-old Carolyn led the historic fight for gender equality that ultimately led Little League officials in Williamsport revoke their no-girls-allowed rule.
Thanks to women like Carolyn King, Little League Baseball is no longer a boys-only club. Carolyn made it possible for girls to give the boys a run for their money on the field every day, just like she did in 1973. The road to gender equality has been a long one – it wasn’t until just last year, Davie Jane Gilmour became the first ever woman to lead the Little League Board of Directors.
If your daughter loves to play ball, give her the support she needs to have fun and to be the best she can be. Get her a 50′ Wheelhouse Batting Cage and teach her how to hit like a girl, and win!