History of Women in






1866- Vassar College was the first school to field two women’s amateur baseball teams.


1867- A black women’s team, The Dolly Vardens from Philadelphia, was a professional baseball team.

1872- Mills College in Oakland, CA established women’s baseball teams.


1875- The “Blondes” and the “Brunettes” played their first match in Springfield, IL on September 11th. Newspapers advertised the event as “first game of baseball ever played in public for gate money between feminine ball-tossers.”


1883- The first baseball “Ladies Day” was held on June 16th by the New York Giants, where both escorted and unescorted women were allowed into the park for free.


1887- George Hancock invented indoor baseball. The first game was played on Thanksgiving Day. The basic equipment included a huge 17-inch ball and a bat usually made out of stick. The players did not wear gloves and the catcher did not wear any gear. It became a popular sport and soon more and more boys and girls became involved.


1890- The Bloomer Girls baseball era lasted from the 1890’s until’ 1894. Hundreds of teams, such as the All Star Ranger Girls, Philadelphia Bobbies, New York Bloomer Girls, Baltimore Black Sox Colored Girls, offered opportunities to young women to travel and play. They were only employed if they could hit, field, slide or catch.


1890- A women’s baseball club played a game against the Danville, IL Browns before 2,000 fans on Sunday June 8th. As the women left the game they were arrested and fined for a total of $100 for disturbing the peace by playing baseball on a Sunday in violation of the local “Blue Laws.”


1895- The first women’s softball team was formed at Chicago’s West Division High School. They could not play competitively until 1899 when they finally hired a coach.


1898- Lizzie Arlington was the first women to sign a professional baseball contract. She played for the Philadelphia Reserves.


1904- Amanda Clement, only sixteen years old, was the first female to umpire a men’s baseball game for pay.


1908- Take Me Out to the Ball Game, the National Anthem for Baseball was written about a young girl’s love for the game.


1911- Helene Britton was the first woman to own a major league team. She was the head director of the St. Louis Cardinals from 1911-1917.


1931- Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis banned women from professional baseball. He felt that he needed to after a seventeen year old pitcher Virne Beatrice “Jackie” Mitchell stroked out Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig in an exhibition game.


1933- At the Chicago National Softball Tournament, the male and female champions are honored equally.


1943- Phillip K. Wrigley, owner of the Chicago Cubs, established the All-American Girls Softball League.


1949- Marcenia Lyle Alberga was the first woman to play a full season in a professional men’s baseball league.


1950- Kathryn Johnson, only twelve years old was the first girl to play Little League Baseball. She played for the King’s Dairy team in Corning, NY.


1951- Betty Chapman was the first African American professional softball player.


1965- The first International Women’s Softball Tournament was held in Melbourne, Australia, with the home country beating the U.S. in the final, 1-0.


1974- Lanny Moss was the first woman to manage a professional men’s baseball team. She was hired by the minor league Portland Mavericks.


1975- The International Women’s Professional Softball League unites. The contracts ranged from $1,000 to $3,000 per player, per year. Due to financial problems though, the league was split in 1980.


1976- In the first Women’s Professional Softball World Series Championship the Connecticut Falcons came out on top.


1979- At the Pan-American Games the United States Women’s National Team won the gold medal.


1979- Crystal Fields, only eleven yearsold, was the first girl to win a baseball Pitch, Hit, and Run competition. She competed against all boys in the finals.


1982- Division I, II and III Softball Championships were held for the first time.


1984- Victoria Roche was the first girl to play in the Little League World Series.


1984- The U.S. Women’s softball team won the championship in the first Women’s International Cup played in Los Angeles, beating China, 1-0.


1989- Julie Croteau was the first woman to play NCAA baseball on first base for Division III St. Mary’s (MD) College.


1990- Kelly Craig was the first female staring pitcher in Little League World Series history.


1991- Debbie Doon pitches her second consecutive perfect game in women’s softball at the Pan American Games for the US team.


1993- Sherry Davies becomes the first woman public address announcer in major league baseball, working for the San Francisco Giants.


1995- Ila Borders was the first woman to pitch in a men’s collegiate baseball game.


1996- Women’s soccer and women’s softball become medal sports at the Olympic Games for the first time; both events are won by US teams.


1996- Dot Richardson hits the first home run in Olympic softball history, helping the U.S. softball team win the gold medal.


1996- Spalding Sports introduces the first baseball glove to specifically design to fit a woman’s hand.


2000- The Okalahoma Sooners won the NCAA Women’s Softball College World Series by beating UCLA 3-1. Lisa Carey tied the school record with her 20th homer.


2003- Pitcher Keira Goerl, from UCLA, pitched a nine-inning no-hitter in the 2003 NCAA Division I Championship. This was the first no-hitter ever thrown in any title game.


2004- The UCLA Bruins beat California 3-1 for their second straight NCAA softball championship and tenth overall championship.


2004- The National Pro Fast pitch League’s inaugural season begins on June 1st, fielding more than ninety women to the field as professional softball players.


2005- The USA Softball Women’s Olympic team is the 2004 “Team of the Year."


2005- Michigan was the first school east of Mississippi to win a NCAA softball championship title. Michigan was one of the only five teams in NCAA to hit 100 home runs in one season.


2005- The USA softball team wins its fifth consecutive world championship, beating Australia 9-0. The U.S. women’s team has won seven world titles.


2005- The International Olympic Committee cut softball and baseball competition from the 2012 games in London. These are the first sports to be cut in 69 years.


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