Historically girls have been excluded from baseball and pushed into softball. The organization Baseball for All seeks to change that, empowering girls to stay in the game. At Lenny Letter, Britni de la Cretaz catches the organization’s annual tournament in Rockford, Illinois (home of the inspiration team for A League of Their Own). Almost 300 badass girls from around the world take to the diamond, cultivating confidence and sisterhood.
The league was the first and only women’s professional-baseball league in U.S. history; it existed from 1943 to 1954. The [Baseball for All] tournament is this generation’s chance to make women’s-baseball history of their own.
It’s not that most girls grow up preferring softball, or that the development of girls’ softball sprung up because American girls decided they liked it better. The exclusion of girls from baseball in the United States was deliberate and systematic.
Often, when girls go to try out for their school teams, many of them are told they can’t play baseball if their school also has a softball team, citing Title IX’s “separate but equal” clause: if there is a comparable women’s team, a girl cannot play on the boys’ team.
Ella Comfort-Cohen, thirteen, wants people to “get logical: I’m a person who plays baseball, it doesn’t matter if I’m a girl or a boy!” Katrina is even more blunt about it: “One day it won’t be interesting anymore that I’m a girl playing baseball.”