By now, you’ve probably seen the AT&T Uverse commercial in which a young lady with the last name of Cortez is the first female in the major leagues. It got me thinking – is there any way a woman could play major league baseball, and if so, what positions could a woman play?
Let’s start with the premise of women playing Major League Baseball at all. I believe it’s possible – baseball is not as physical of a sport as say, football or hockey. No one gets tackled in baseball (unless there’s a bench clearing brawl) or gets into a fight (see the previous parentheses). However, women are not as strong as men unless they’re taking steroids, and as we all know, that’s illegal. Other issues include dressing out for games and practices, and hotel rooms on the road.
So let’s look at the positions that I don’t think women could play. Even though there is a woman pitcher in the commercial, I don’t believe women have the arm strength and the endurance to be a pitcher. A woman could have the hand-eye coordination to play in the outfield, although I don’t think their arms are strong enough to throw a ball to home plate if necessary.
Even with adequate chest protection, it would be hard for a woman to be a catcher. The new rule prohibits a catcher from being bowled over by a runner at the plate, but there are other accidents waiting to happen for a catcher behind the plate. Second base or third base are possibilities, but women could get injured by players sliding with their spikes up.
That leaves the shortstop position and first base. The shortstop position requires a player with agility and a good eye, and throwing distance is less than in the outfield. The first base position requires a player who is ready at all times, whether for turning double plays and who can keep a runner close to the base, and who can also catch foul balls. Another position, but in the American League only, would be the designated hitter. If a woman is a DH, there is no worries about whether or not she can play a position.
Interestingly, MLB announced today that a female French shortstop named Melissa Mayeux is the first woman to be added to the international registration list, which means she could possibly be signed by a major league team on July 2. Ms. Mayeux is only 16 years old, but the fact that she was added to the registration list at all is groundbreaking No doubt some of the women who played in the All-American Girls’ Professional Baseball League in the 1940’s and 1950’s would have loved to have seen this day.
I’ve played some coed softball in my day, but God didn’t see fit to give me the hand-eye coordination or the athletic ability to perform any kind of sports. I’m sure He knew what he was doing. I’ve been told I throw like a girl – hey, I am one!
Here is a link to an interesting article from Newsweek magazine from July 2014 for your reading enjoyment: http://www.newsweek.com/2014/07/11/pitch-attitude-256853.html
Thanks for reading! See you next time!