Monday, March 14, 2011

Breaking the Baseball Gender Barrier

Back in December we signed Sonya up for T-ball.  Since then she's had try-outs (yes for T-ball, but I'm pretty sure only for placement purposes) and practices.  The first Saturday in March was her first game.  As it turns out, Sonya is a pretty damn good ball player.

Okay, yes I'm biased because I'm her mom, but many of the other parents and the coaches as well, have commented on how good she is.  She hits well, runs fast and has one hell of an arm when she throws.  Perhaps a little too much.  She can aim, but she's still doesn't always get that you don't NEED to throw it as hard as you can.  Say when the other kid is only 5 feet away.  She goes for the ball when it comes to her and knows whether to try and throw it, or run and tag the base herself.  She plays her hardest, and the best part is she loves it.

I credit all this to Andy who's been playing with her since she was about two.  He never taught her to play like she was a girl either.  I think he taught her just as well, had she been a boy.  This is all fantastic, except for the part where she thinks she's going to play professional baseball some day.  Whenever she mentions it we don't discourage her and tell her girls can't play, because here's the thing,  why CAN'T woman play professional baseball?

I'm not talking about having their own league, because really who's going to care about that?  You know because the WNBA does so well.  No, I'm saying why can't woman play in the Majors with the boys?  If they are just as good as those guys I see no reason why they shouldn't.  I'm sure there are plenty of woman out there who would be just as good maybe even better than a Manny Ramirez or a Kevin Youkilis.

 The other day Andy told Sonya to ask one of the boys on her team, who is one of the better players, to practice with her.  His reason being, play with the better people so you become better.  This little boy was playing at first base most of the time, catching the ball almost always.  At the last practice, Sonya went to him and said,

"My dad says I should practice with you, because I'm as good as you are," Okay perhaps not the most tactful thing to say, but she's a kid, and she is my kid, so sometimes tact doesn't figure into the equation.

His response was, "Yeah, well I'm better than you."

Huh. Okay.  Good thing Sonya relayed this message to Andy and I and we didn't catch the exchange for ourselves.  I would have had to remind myself again that hitting six year olds is usually frowned upon by the general public.  The funny thing about that was, this past game on Saturday, that kid didn't play so well.  For some reason he couldn't catch the ball, and seemed to be more afraid of it.  After the game the coaches decided to put Sonya at first base for the game next week.  See boy, looks like she is just as good, if not better than YOU.

Okay, fine I know, they're six and it is only T-ball.  In the next few years boys will get bigger, stronger and better.  While Sonya will get bigger and stronger, she will never physically be able to match the boys, because she is a girl and well, her genetics aren't going to help her any either.  However, she still might have the talent, so who knows?  I don't know if Sonya will be that girl to change things in Major League Baseball, but if she continues to have the talent and the ability,  I'm certainly not going to be one to tell her she can't.  For now her dream of being a baseball player is one I will encourage her to keep alive. Besides,  you can't tell me with a swing like this she doesn't at least have the potential.

Check it out here.


Anonymous said...

And she can hustle up the line pretty well too!

Meg Drew said...

damn, that kid plays tball better than I do!
Sonya- just make sure you don't forget the little people when you make it big!

D and B's Mom said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Allison said...

My husband even said she has a good swing! LOL