After a long day, sitting down with my dog and a cold beer to watch the Cardinals play baseball is one my favorite things. Baseball has rewarded me more than I ever thought possible. It has allowed me to grow as a writer and a person. It has led me to some of my best friends. It has been a distraction, a comfort from the trials of everyday life. When my parents were divorcing, when I had to change schools, when I had my heart broken, the Cardinals were the constant. For those few hours all that matters is the direction the wind is blowing and who is on the mound. For those few hours thousands of people have the same goal, simply by being a part of one community fueled by our shared love of baseball and the Birds on the Bat.
“Maybe we will come out wearing dresses tomorrow. Maybe that is what everyone wants... You’re turning the game into a joke. That is flat-out embarrassing.”
“Thank you for shopping with us today. Your boyfriend is going to love that baseball cap.”
“You talk too much about the game... You are better to look at than to listen to.”
“Go see the baby be born and come back. You're a Major League Baseball player. You can hire a nurse to take care of the baby if your wife needs help.”
"Quite frankly I would've said 'C-section before the season starts. I need to be at opening day. I'm sorry, this is what makes our money, this is how we're going to live our life, this is going to give our child every opportunity to be a success in life. I'll be able to afford any college I want to send my kid to because I'm a baseball player.’”
“Kolten Wong makes too many errors.”
“He does, but that is because he gets to more balls hit his way. Errors are a misleading stat.”
“Either you make a play or don’t—it isn’t that complicated. Maybe you can have your boyfriend explain it to you.”
“We’ve all been less than perfect.”
“Are you really here alone? I don’t think I have ever seen a woman come to a baseball game by herself.”
“Well, my boyfriend couldn’t make it and I really wanted to see Chipper Jones play,”.
“Oh yeah? You got a little crush on him?”
“No, he is a future Hall of Famer and this is my last chance to see him play before he retires.”
“Really? A women's softball slugger as guest analyst on MLB Wildcard Game? Once again ESPN too frigging cute for their own good...
Yes tell us T**s McGhee when you’re up there hitting the softball you see a lot of 95 mile an hour cutters?”
Earlier today, we posted a spot on social media to promote our upcoming 1967 Championship Ring giveaway. We received some feedback that it may have either offended some people or created confusion as to whether it was for women only, so we promptly removed it. Our ring giveaways have always been popular with both men and women, and we want to be clear that we will be distributing 30,000 rings to all fans, age 16 or older, before our game on Wednesday, May 17th.
Baseball is a wonderful sport. It is a sport of calm, soothing, consistency interrupted with short bursts of intensity. It is both historic and modern, bringing the nostalgia of the past while leaving room for the ever growing advancements the future holds. Generations of people have felt its draw, the passion and disappointment of the long season during the hot summer for over a century. This is why people love it and build such a strong connection to it. These feelings are not gender exclusive. They are for everyone. Baseball is for everyone.
Yet, despite our love for the game, despite the financial incentive to include us, women are constantly treated like outsiders.
And that is a shame.
A special thanks goes out to AsYouVanSlykeIt and IHeartBoog for sharing some of their stories with me.