Become a Fan
Where the Legends Meet
By Janelle T Frese
Sunday, September 16, 2007
Rated "G" by the Author.
Women in baseball
WHERE THE LEGENDS MEET
A Legend of the Los Angeles Legends of Ladies League Baseball
By Janelle T. Frese
We met on an aging field of pale green grass and red brick dust. There were nineteen of us and some of us had never played the game before. “Calling all Legends,” the world’s first female skipper, Bridget, calmly called the meeting to order in the creaking bleachers behind us. We took our seats and listened to a story we would soon make manifest.
I had been called up from “the minor leagues.” That is to say I had recently pitched an ace, a natural childbirth, the greatest athletic event of any woman’s career. Mine was a smooth delivery, a little girl who would soon see her first baseball game live from my teammates’ arms in the home field dugout of Jackie Robinson Stadium. Surely, “there is no crying in baseball,” unless you are a beautiful baby and your mother is on the mound.
Recovering from childbirth on a baseball field was one challenge. Competing in a sport dominated my men was another. Playing at a professional level, which no woman had done in fifty years, was the thrill of a lifetime. The greatest challenge for all of us was keeping the dream alive for our daughters.
Fitted in the foremost stylish of uniforms and sporting the sleekest equipment, we took the field for the first time in May of 1997. The stadium seats were mainly filled with friends and family. Some strangers in the crowd would doubt us and predict our demise, wondering why women in baseball. But when Tibey Eisen, the grand mother of our favorite pastime, threw out the game ball, we knew we had real work to do.
We were representing more than the human spirit of sport. This tipped the scale of our love of the game. This was our chance to make more of an opportunity, but rise to an occasion unprecedented in women's sports history: We could truly become legends.
The Los Angeles Legends would go down in hidden history as the winningest women's baseball team in a single season of play. One of four teams in a league that would grow to six in its second season, but suddenly collapse mid-summer of 1998, shattering the hopes of the little dream girls in all of us.
Though today there is no venue, and my daughters are forced to play for fun, I am proud to say I own the heavy black marble trophy engraved: J.T. Frese "The Rocket" Most Outstanding Pitcher, Ladies League Baseball 1997. No one on the planet shares this title or ever will.
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