Here is my original post on this subject. From October 26, 2007. 3 1/2 years ago. Things haven’t changed much.
I am a baseball fan. I am a football fan. I am a basketball fan. I hate most hockey, wrestling and anything else that most people wouldn’t consider a sport. The sports I do enjoy are an addiction, and I both admit it and am proud of it. I am also a girl. And because I am a female baseball/ football/ basketball fan, I am treated differently and sometimes, I’m looked down upon. I’m sick of it. I know my sports. Especially baseball. I will work for (and hopefully own) a pro team one day. I want to be the ice breaker that shows people that women really do know their stuff. NOTHING in the manual of life says that girls can’t like sports. It’s how I’ve met most of my friends… and I know some have the same problems, but others don’t it seems. Maybe it’s because I’m sensitive, maybe they just haven’t experienced it. Maybe it’s because I don’t like “traditional” women’s sports. I have never been so angry as I am right now at the fact that I am obviously and blatantly being treated different because I’m a female fan. I don’t understand why some “men” think that we like the sport because “the guys are hot”. Well, gee, considering I like alot of athletes who are less than attractive, I have to disagree. I don’t know why men think they can get away with crap like this. I guess I’m lucky in a way that all of my guy friends have accepted me for who I am and actually talk baseball with me like I don’t have 8 heads. I guess I just can’t understand why this is still happening. It’s not like I want world peace or anything (which would be nice) I’m just asking that some guys understand that we really DO know sports.
UPDATED 3/30/10 (I apologize if this gets long)
I have been rejected for jobs locally because I’m a female. I have also, however, been given two jobs without my supervisor ever talking to me about baseball. I have been referred to as a “baseball junkie” by one of my close friends (who is also a coach).
I have had to deal with men who think I know nothing since I started in the game as a freshman in high school. First, it started with players, who didn’t like the idea of a freshman on their bus or in their dugout, let alone a female freshman. The players got better about it, then the coach changed. For the next three years, I stayed just to piss him off, honestly. He didn’t think I belonged there, but couldn’t do anything about it. My senior year, he kicked me out of the dugout, just to see what I would do, hoping I would quit. I didn’t. I stayed the rest of the season just to prove him wrong. One of the best things I ever did. I wasn’t going to let someone keep me from being in that dugout or in baseball.
From that point, I got an internship with a local collegiate league team without ever meeting the ownership. I didn’t meet them until after the season was well underway. At that point, I had no baseball experience except for my high school ride. I got two years of experience there, and a bio on the website that included “owns too many baseball shirts”. 🙂
With that experience in two years, I was able to get an internship with the White Sox organization this year. I was told that there was no doubt that I would get a job in baseball soon after I graduate with my experience and love of the game.
This brings me to the reason for this post.
There has been conversation on twitter about the treatment of female fans by not only other female fans but by companies and by Major League Baseball themselves. Female fans make up at least 40% of the fanbase. And yet, a majority of our apparel is still pink and not all teams are covered by the new styles every season (psssst, the Pirates/ Royals/ DBacks etc. have female fans, too!). It seems that if you wear something that’s pink or sparkly to a game, you aren’t a fan. I like pink -I AM a girl!- and I like sparkly things. I like them together. Sometimes I like them together if my team’s logo is on it. But not always. If it’s the only option I have of supporting my team and still looking semi-cute, I don’t like it as much. I will wear a boys’ shirt before I wear something pink to a game.
I have friends who HATE with a passion the pink apparel. I’m middle of the road. I do think there should be more in team colors. I like my team. I want to wear their war paint (so to speak). This is why I like the Touch line by Alyssa Milano.
Anyway…. I have friends who will talk baseball with me more than their guys. Most of them are guys from my four years in the dugout. Those are the ones who know I know what I’m talking about. A friend of mine made a comment about how funny it was that girls talk football like they know what they’re talking about. I asked about baseball and he told me that I get a pass because I’m “one of the few”.
I have worked at tryouts for the Atlanta Braves. I have been in a room and talked baseball with the likes of Robin Roberts, Whitey Herzog and Jack Clark (all of whom were amazed at my knowlege). I have had interviews with 6 MLB teams. I have a rejection letter from Nolan Ryan himself.
I consider myself more of a player fan. I follow guys through trades, I don’t stop being a fan because they’re traded or signed somewhere else. People mistake this as being a “cleat chaser”. No, I like my players. If I have more than 3 players on a team, I like the team. It’s that simple.
Yes, I do notice guy’s looks. I bet some guys do, too (Some, you just can’t ignore. I’m looking at you, Joe Mauer). But it comes second to their talent and their love of the game. I usually notice if a guy is left-handed before I notice his face. I can’t get this across to some people. I’ve stopped trying. If they want to think I’m in it for the men, let them. See who gets tickets when I have that ability. 😉
I don’t care what people think about me personally in regards to baseball. Let them think what they want. I’ll prove them wrong one day and they’ll say they knew me when.. BUT, I don’t like the treatment of the female fanbase as a whole. I don’t know why it’s so hard for MLB to understand that we are serious about this amazing game.
You know why YOU love it, we love it for the same reasons: The smell of the grass, of a hot dog and beer. The well placed bunt, Aaron Rowand sacrificing his face for a catch, the sunshine, the no hitter… the *almost* no hitter. Keeping score. Bleacher seats. Bases loaded, 2 outs, tie game, bottom of the 9th, 7th game of the World Series kind of pain or elation. Yea, we feel it, too. Maybe more, I don’t know. Some of us live and die with every pitch. Some women are bigger fans than some men I know.
It’s time MLB took note of this and started aiming at ALL of their fans instead of half of them.
We’re coming for you boys, just you wait and see.
(sorry this is a little all over the place, I wrote as I thought)