June 28, 2013: Play Ball
Baseball is a big deal in my hometown of Remsen. In fact, it's a really big deal and rightfully so. Our little town produced State Championship baseball teams and Professional League baseball players. Young boys played Little League ball in preparation for high school.
The boys played at a baseball diamond strategically placed next to our public swimming pool. There was no girls’ softball program. Our role was to cheer on the baseball boys while juggling our time with laying out at the pool.
Previous to Kim’s recruitment, it had never crossed our minds that we were being slighted. Not having the opportunity to play a summer sport was not viewed as an injustice. Following the inclusion of Kim and the exclusion of every other girl, we then understood equal rights and our lack thereof.
Our collective reaction was to go to City Hall. We asked to sign up for the boys’ league too. The baseball commissioner conceded to our requests to participate. Kim's entry created a pathway for girls of all athletic ability. The floodgate was opened.
Although good sports with the female invasion, the little league boys were left wondering how they got dealt this hand of cards. What should have been their glory days of competitive summer ball turned into a lesson in how not to hurt the girls.
The next year, Kim continued on with the boys’ league to complete her successful run in baseball. She went on to enjoy a spectacular high school softball career. The rest of us were given the honor of participating in the first ever Remsen Girls' Softball League. Other than Kim, our baseball careers ended after a year.
Although I would like to end this story with visions of Madonna playing in a Remsen version of "A League of Her Own", this was not the case. I didn’t follow in the footsteps of Kim Schorg. There was no glimmer of talent for me on the softball front, but it sure was a fun way to spend the summer.