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Who’s not on first?

The new baseball season is upon us, and hope springs eternal across the major leagues as 30 teams and more than 700 players vie for a chance at the World Series.

But I have one question: How come all of those players are men?

I mean, I don’t get it. A woman today can be a mayor, or a cop, or a firefighter, or a doctor, or a U.S. Supreme Court justice, or a construction worker, or a bus driver, or an astronaut, or an oil tanker captain. But she can’t play baseball in the Show.

Back in 2008, Hillary Clinton ran so well for the Democratic nomination for president that she nearly nabbed it. But no woman is permitted to run the bases at Wrigley Field or Yankee Stadium.

A woman takes the battlefield today to defend this nation as a soldier. But she can’t take the field at Fenway Park to defend against the bunt.

Sixty-five years ago, on April 15, 1947, Jackie Robinson played first base for the Brooklyn Dodgers, becoming the first African-American major leaguer in baseball’s modern era and shattering a color barrier that had been a stain upon the sport since the late 19th century. (He went 0 for 3 but scored a run.)

Robinson opened the way for thousands of other African-Americans and dark-complexioned players from virtually every country in the Americas. He also made it easier for Japanese and other Asian players to win acceptance.

Yet, in the nearly two-thirds of a century since he stepped into the batter’s box, there has been nary a whisper that Major League Baseball should eliminate another shameful stain — the gender barrier.

Read more in today’s Chicago Tribune: http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/ct-perspec-0404-baseball-20120404,0,6737486.story

Patrick T. Reardon
4.4.12

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