Women Major League Baseball / by kevin murray

Back in 1992, there was the very successful movie, "A League of Their Own", based on the real All-American Girls Baseball League (AAGBBL) which was dramatized quite successfully.  The impetus behind the advent of the AAGBBL was the fact that during World War II, minor league parks were being disbanded, because of the lack of young men to play the sport, and with America being the land of entrepreneurship, imagination, and opportunity, some enlightened businessmen along with some professional MLB owners, came up with the concept of a baseball league for women which they were then able to bring to fruition, and to which the league was in business from 1943 to 1954.


Fast forward to 2014, and Sports Illustrated featured a 13-year old Mo'ne Davis on its cover, applauding this female phenom of Little League baseball.  Baseball is definitely a sport that females can play successfully and probably only necessitates a few modest rule changes to accommodate the differences in size between men and female athletes, but essentially the game can be played in current MLB or minor league ballparks with the probable inclusion of a portable outdoor fence to reduce the distance for a baseball to travel for a homerun.


The beauty of the women MLB would be similar to the concept behind the WNBA which uses the same arenas that the NBA uses, but schedules its games during the NBA off-season.  Because baseball is played outdoors, the women MLB games would have to be scheduled while their respective MLB or minor league affiliates were on the road, which is easy enough to do, and obviously their season would be significantly shorter, perhaps just accommodating the traditional summer break with games primarily on weekends.


Women with a baseball league of their own, is a concept that could be successful again given the proper funding and the proper foresight.  Unlike basketball, to which having just one important physical factor, which is height, can be the strongest determinate as to whether you will or will not be successful in the sport, baseball is a sport that embraces women of a greater variety in both weight and height, as long as your incumbent athletic skill is developed.


Another advantage that a women's baseball league would have is that some of the rules within the game, could easily be looked at, modified, tested and then utilized first in the women's league that later may be applicable to MLB.  For instance, the amount of visits to the mound could be limited; the amount of time between pitches could be monitored with something akin to a shot clock, as well as limiting the amount of time that a batter can step out of the batter's box.  Additionally, a line could be drawn on the base-path just beyond a reasonable lead-off point, so that if a base-runner does not place a foot beyond the line, no pick-up throws would be allowed.  Also, the foul line, which runs in a straight line from home plate to 1st and3rd-base and then extends out to the outfield, could be changed, so that once the foul line passes 1st and 3rd base, it could be angled out to incorporate more of the outfield as being in fair territory.


The women's MLB would be faster and perhaps a more fun game than MLB, more like a throwback to the bygone days when there was more daytime baseball and the love of the game was the motivating factor with the watching and the playing of baseball considered to be the family pastime.