MLB Welcomes Girls to Bat At First-Ever Girls' Youth Tournament
Major League Baseball is teaming up with USA Baseball to hosting the first-ever Trailblazer Series, girls' youth tournament, encouraging girls to pursue traditionally dominated male sports.
On April 15, the inaugural Trailblazer series became what is hopefully going to be the first of many girls' baseball events.
"I didn't know girls played baseball," said Ja'nae Wray, a 12 year old from Douglasville, Ga., and one of the 100 girls to travel to Compton for the tournament, The Huffington Post reports. Wray went on to make three-run homeruns over the center field wall with plans to play baseball and softball back home after the tournament. She plans to join an all-girls travel baseball team.
Today more than 100,000 girls play youth baseball across that nation, The Huffington Post reports. With efforts to increase baseball and softball participation, MLB and its player's union pledged $30 million in 2015 and now we're seeing the results.
Baseball, conceived as a male sport, often reminds girls of its male-dominated roots by continuously pitching softball as baseball for girls. According to the National Federation of State High School Association, about half a million boys play baseball compared to just 1,290 girls playing baseball because of softball's existence.
"I didn't know there were girls' teams," Wray said. "I didn't know there was a USA Baseball team. Now I'm really interested in it. It showed me that a lot of other girls play baseball, and I can play too."
Photo Credit: Twitter/ @justinebaseball