No Girls in the Clubhouse

The Exclusion of Women from Baseball


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SKU: 9780786440184 Categories: , , ,

About the Book

Even though teenaged girl Jackie Mitchell once struck out Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig, women are still striking out on the hardball diamond. This book builds on recently published histories of women as amateur and professional players, umpires, sports commentators and fans to analyze the cultural and historical contexts for excluding females from America’s pastime. Drawing on anthropological and feminist perspectives, the book examines the ways that constructions of women’s bodies and normative social roles have pushed them toward softball instead of baseball. Sportswriter accounts, Title IX sex-discrimination suits, and interviews with players explore the obstacles and the social isolation of females who join all-male baseball teams, while also discussing policies that inhibit the practice.

About the Author(s)

Marilyn Cohen is a professor of sociology and urban studies at Saint Peter’s College, where she is also the director of women’s studies. The author or editor of several books about Irish history and gender, she lives in Upper Montclair, New Jersey.

Bibliographic Details

Marilyn Cohen
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 228
Bibliographic Info: 15 photos, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2009
pISBN: 978-0-7864-4018-4
eISBN: 978-0-7864-5297-2
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments      vii

Preface      1


1. Patriarchal Myths      5

2. “Contraband Pleasure”: Victorian Era Baseball, 1866–1890      18

3. “Playing to the Surprise and Delight of the Crowd”: Bloomer Girls and Barnstorming Exhibition Players, 1890–1935      27

4. “More Than the Usual Variety of Curves”: The All-American Girls Professional Baseball League, 1943–1954      44

5. “A Woman Has Her Dreams Too”: Three Women Players in the Professional Negro American League, 1952–1954      76

6. “Do Something Momentous”: The Florida Sun Sox (1984) and the Colorado Silver Bullets (1994–1997)      93

7. “But Ila’s for Real”: Ila Borders, 1985–2000      119


8. He-Sport and She-Sport: The Origins and Infrastructure of Gender Exclusion in Amateur Baseball      129

9. “It’s Baseball Lib”: Little League Baseball and Public Americana, 1939–1974      137

Conclusion: “Islands of Privateness” or Islands of Privilege      165

Chapter Notes      187

Bibliography      201

Index      211

Book Reviews & Awards

“invaluably…essential”—Library Journal; “this interesting book provides a solid historical and cultural treatment of women and baseball over the years and reveals that, despite barriers, women have found a way to share in the love of this sport and to be counted. A fascinating resource for those interested in sociology, especially sport sociology, and women’s studies…excellent resource. Highly recommended”—Choice.