Nod to the Lady Fans*

It’s aFeatured image cliche that baseball is a game about fathers and sons, but some of us learn our love of baseball from the women in our families.  We don’t hear as many stories about that in the media — probably because most sportswriters are still guys (and the female ones likely avoid the topic).  I just ran across a rare article about a shared love of baseball between a woman and her grandmother, which you can read here.

My favorite part was this:

“But it was at dusk, as we had our ‘happy hour’ whiskey and crushed ice in the den, that my grandfather’s absence was suffocating.

Hoping to cheer her up, I went for the remote, “It’s time for your novela!”

She kept the remote from me and flipped through the channels, “You’re grandfather was the one that liked novelas. I like la pelota,” and she settled on the Marlins game and leaned back in her recliner.”

Sigh, that reminds me of all the times my mom dragged me to the hardware store as a kid…

Anyway, I don’t agree with the author’s notion about why women like baseball, but it’s nice to see a nod to real female fans in the media, seeing as we actually watch the games (instead of refreshing B-Ref for stats updates).

Burgie and Prof, see you tonight on the game thread.

*Don’t call me a freaking “lady fan.”

30 thoughts on “Nod to the Lady Fans*

      • My mom did quite a bit of that as well. She actually taught my dad how to frame a new wall and run electric.

        Of course, those trips to the hardware store didn’t bother me as much as they seem to have bothered you.

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        • I appreciate hardware stores much more now, but as a 13 year old, the allure was lost on me…and it was time away from reading.

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      • My grandmother was a baseball fan. My first memory of going to a game was when i was very young (four or so) when she and my grandfather took me to see the (then) Dallas minor league team.

        My mother-in-law (deceased in 2013) was a very big Sox, fan – as is her daughter – my step sister-in-law. But she lives in Rhode Island, so I don’t get to see her much. The wife of one good friend is a baseball fan.

        The only distinction I make about lady baseball fans is that I just don’t know enough of them. Otherwise it’s a non-issue. Everyone should love baseball.

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  1. Thanks for the link. Great story.

    I agree about why women that like baseball, like baseball. I think women that like baseball do so for the same reasons as men that like baseball. The love the game itself, the day-to-day nature of the season, going to the park, etc.

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    • I’m curious if this type of stereotyping goes on in other countries. For instance, if you watch any EPL/Serie A/Bundesliga/La Liga games, there are plenty of women in the stands. Do those countries just accuse these women of jock riding/cleat chasers, or do they acknowledge that women like the sport because they like the sport?

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      • I would guess the frequency of such stereotypes is similar…it isn’t like that is the average US belief. There are cretins everywhere…I mean, Europe has problems with people yelling racist crap at players during games, and different leagues have issues with much of the crowd engaging in racist or homophobic chants during games….I’m sure those same charming individuals have some condescending bullshit to say about women, too.

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  2. I’ve posted before that it was my 85-year-old mother who instilled baseball fandom in me. It was her mother that did so for her and my 89-year-old aunt. Both tell stories of sitting around the radio listening to Cubs games and occasionally riding the train into Chicago to go to Wrigley or Comiskey to see games in person. (They grew up Cubs fans but both had particular fondness for Luke Appling of the White Sox, with a 1940’s version of the love of cheering on someone by chanting their name so it sounds like booing. Luuuuuke!)

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    • In fairness, my mom knew baseball because her dad played — it was part of their family and all of them follow it. Of us three kids, I probably watch it more than my brother and sister. It’s the only sport my mom really followed. My brother, like my dad, watches sports generally. My sister has gotten into soccer more — and a good part of that is her son playing.

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  3. The other day, one of my old doctors, a fellow Rays/Mets hybrid ex-New Yorker hybrid fan, excitedly waited for me to talk about the previous night’s WS game. (That’s why your doctor is running late. He or she is talking baseball. Sorry.) Unbeknownst to me, my patient, a 79 year old woman, was listening. When I walked back behind the curtain to see her, the lovely old woman asked me if I was a baseball fan. I showed her my dorky Rays watch and said, “I sure am! How about yourself?” She told me she loved baseball, and that she had once been a pitcher on her high school baseball team in Alabama. Not softball. Baseball. I was impressed. She knew her stuff too. I jokingly asked her if I could come over and watch the WS with her, and she said, “Sure!” Alas, she was rooting for the Royals because of all the Rays connections–Zobrist, Davis. When her daughter came to pick her up, I told her we had a chat about baseball, and she smiled and said, “Her favorite topic.” I love my elderly patients, especially the baseball fans. If I live long enough, that’ll be me.

    My love of baseball came from both parents. My dad got the bug from his mom. If my kids grow to love it, they got it from their momma.

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  4. I owe my love of baseball to my mother, who is one of the biggest baseball fans I know. It was my mother that used to take me out and play catch. She took me to my games. She took me to dollar nights in the bleacher section at Memorial park. She raised me alone, on a teacher’s salary, in a house we could barely afford (It was very important to her I grow up in a nice house with a back yard). We didn’t grow up dirt poor, but we certainly were not middle class, or especially comfortable. She worked two jobs year round just to put food on the table and keep clothes on my back. Baseball was the thing we had together. It was our special time together. She used to play baseball as a kid (Not softball, baseball) until one day where she got into a collision at home and her hair fell out of her cap and they realized she was a girl and kicked her out of the league. She always loved the sport, a love that was passed down to her from her father, and a love she passed down to me. We still routinely attend games together each year, and even when I’m at home and something good happens, I’ll get a text. She didn’t need baseball-reference.com, because she kept a running tally of Chris Davis’ strikeouts on her own. When asked what she wants to do for Mother’s day, she always responds the same. “Take me to the game.”

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  5. I’ve talked about it before here, but baseball was my only refuge in this world for many, many years. It provided me with a sense of belonging and calm, a soft place to fall when the world around me was too rough. I naturally gravitated to it; the history and the logic and the sense of tradition. These were all things that I craved, and baseball gave it to me and more. I learned the game, abstractly, from my grandpa, but he died when I was nine, and he was much more a football fan than anything. I pretty much learned the game myself.

    It means so much to me, and when people who have no idea how important it is to me boils it down to “Oh, well, she must have a thing for the guy who’s playing” or “she can’t possibly know about the game, go shopping or something” it makes me furious. I love baseball the same way a man would, for the same reasons.

    Bless all the women who pass on their love of sport to their children. And bless the men, too, who share this thing they love with their daughters.

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  6. I got my love of the game from both my parents. My mom ( and her sister) played on the company-sponsored teams in Central Fla before WW2 There was an entire league made up of these company teams, mainly the orange processing companies and container manufacturers, My dad played what would now be independent-league, that is to say, probably the equivalent of low-A baseball, both before and during the war. There weren’t any MLB teams in Fla when I was growing up, but we did have Spring Training, and my mom would get me excused from school 5 to 10 times a year to go to games, especially when her boss got her tickets. She always insisted that he get one for me along with hers. And to this day, my sister, who wasn’t really interested that much is a Dodgers fan because Duke Snider gave her around the outfield in Vero Beach, on his shoulders.

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  7. I grew up in a town where a kid could take in radio and tv broadcasts of three different teams (Phillies, Yankees, and Mets). From a very young age I endeavored, for various reasons, to spend as little time around my parents as possible. I spent endless summer nights at my grandmother’s (mets fan) house, watching Mets games on Channel 9 and listening to her yell at the TV or at my Aunt’s (phillies fan) watching Phillies games on Channel 17. My first live game experiences were at horrible Veteran’s Stadium with my Aunt. Literally all of my childhood baseball memories involve those two great women.

    Then I became a little league catcher obsessed with Thurman Munson thus launching a lifetime of Yankee fandom. My grandmother, requiescat in pace, never forgave me (though she still loved me as a grandson) and my aunt still won’t talk about it.

    But I had a little wistful smile on face when I thought of my what grandmother would have been screaming at the television after Collins left Harvey in after the walk to lead off the ninth last night. 🙂

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