Sunday, May 10, 2015


There are so many stories and pictures of fathers taking their sons and daughters to baseball games at stadiums across the nation.  I love reading about kids' first reactions to the field of dreams in front of them and I certainly remember my first MLB game; walking up the ramp overlooking the picturesque infield leading to the bright scoreboard and smells of hot dogs lingering across my nose.  Sure, I remember.  I remember so clearly that when I became a mom 17 years ago, I couldn't wait to bring my son to the ball park.  That's right, we moms love baseball too.

I have never felt baseball was a sexist sport as I grew up.  I never felt for one minute as a little girl that I couldn't play shortstop for the New York Yankees if I wanted to try.  When I was in grade school and we were tasked to write a five paragraph essay about our dream job, I wrote about playing for the Yankees as the first female Major League Baseball player.

Dorothy "Dottie" Kamenshek was considered the "finest female baseball player" according to an article about her life published in the New York Times at the time of her death in May 2010. We wrote about her on BYB (A LEAGUE OF THEIR OWN: DOTTIE KAMENSHEK). You may recall that Dottie's story and adventures with the Rockford Peaches highlighted the movie "A League of Their Own."  I won't say I was a Dottie, but I will say that I played with a lot of grit and speed and in today's world, could have gone a lot further than girls did back in the 1980s-1990s.

Besides loving to play baseball, I love watching the game, any game, any time, anywhere; yes even in Fenway Park.  A great day for me is having a dog and beer and catching nine innings in the warm summer air.  That's heaven for me.  Sharing that moment with my daughter or son, friend or even my own mom is an added bonus.  I would rather catch a ball game in the Bronx than shop at Tiffany's.  Yep, I love baseball!

And I am not the only one.  After a little searching, I found a number of Facebook sites dedicated to moms and baseball.  There are books about moms raising sons to play baseball.  There are baseball mom shirts, Victoria Secrets makes a whole line of baseball clothing for women, and my daughter bought me a baseball clock engraved very eloquently, "Happy Mother's Day" from Things Remember a couple of years ago.  Yet ESPN wrote an article last year about how mom's go unnoticed in the lives of future baseball players.  "Former poet laureate Donald Hall once wrote "Baseball is fathers and sons playing catch." That certainly is a familiar image -- it's the final shot we see in "The Natural" and the scene that reduces us to tears at the end of "Field of Dreams." 

Fathers are often credited for their role in raising major leaguers. Order of the day: pink shoes and bats to honor mom. Mothers, though? Not so much. Too often, baseball is mothers being taken for granted."

For the record, I taught my son how to play catcher, I threw him his first pitch in the driveway at age three and I took him to his first Yankee game in the Bronx.  Sure, his dad was there, but it was me who couldn't wait to see him play.  And now, he is the starting catcher for his American Legion team and hopes to play club baseball in college next year.

Last Sunday, my son and I, spontaneously bought tickets and took the short ride down to Arm and Hammer park to catch the Double-A Yankee farm team, the Trenton Thunder, play on a beautiful summer-like day in May.  No home games for me this weekend, but there will be plenty this summer.

So, no we moms don't just wash uniforms, race our kids to fields for games and practice and sit on hard bleachers hoping for our son or daughter to get a hit.  We actually like the game.  We even have a history with it, long before we became moms.

Happy Mother's Day to all of you moms who love baseball like me!

--Suzie Pinstripe, BYB Senior Staff Writer

BYB Hot Stove Columnist
Twitter: @suzieprof

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