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Stolen Bases: Why American Girls Don't Play Baseball
     

Stolen Bases: Why American Girls Don't Play Baseball

by Jennifer Ring
 

Far from being strictly a men's sport, baseball has long been enjoyed and played by Americans of all genders, races, and classes since it became popular in the 1830s. The game itself was invented by English girls and boys, and when it immigrated to the United States, numerous prominent women's colleges formed intramural teams and fielded intensely spirited and

Overview

Far from being strictly a men's sport, baseball has long been enjoyed and played by Americans of all genders, races, and classes since it became popular in the 1830s. The game itself was invented by English girls and boys, and when it immigrated to the United States, numerous prominent women's colleges formed intramural teams and fielded intensely spirited and powerful players.

Jennifer Ring questions the forces that have kept girls who want to play baseball away from the game. With the professionalization of the sport in the early twentieth century, Albert Goodwill Spalding—sporting goods magnate, baseball player, and promoter—declared baseball off limits for women and envisioned global baseball as a colonialist example to teach non-white men to become civilized and rational. And by the late twentieth century, baseball had become serious business at all levels, with female players perceived as obstacles to rising male players' stakes of success.

Stolen Bases also looks at American softball, which was originally invented by men who wanted to keep playing baseball indoors during cold winter months but has become the consolation sport for most female players. Throughout her analysis, Ring searches for ways to rescue baseball from its arrogance and exclusionary entitlement and to restore the great American sport's more optimistic nickname: the people's game.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Sharp, thoroughly researched examination of gender discrimination in [baseball].—Los Angeles Times

"The story Ring tells is outrageous.  Her title is accurate:  baseball has been stolen from girls."—Women's Review of Books

"Throwing 'like a girl' is an age-old taunt, and Jennifer Ring has had enough of it."—Washington Post

“An important work. . . . Ring traces over a 100 years of issues arising from individuals, cultural biases, legal arguments, and the like to develop a full picture.”—Cave 17.com

“An extraordinary account of the rejection of female players from baseball. . . . [Ring] searches for ways to reclaim baseball’s nickname, 'the people’s game,' and encourage females who want to play a game they are passionate about.  Highly recommended.”—Choice

Library Journal

These two books invaluably shed light on the legal, cultural, and gender-based obstacles to the equality of the sexes on the diamond. Cohen addresses these issues from a scholarly perspective and situates the travails of female athletes within a precise sociocultural context with significant attention paid to legal developments, but not without making plain the day-to-day struggles of female players over the last 125 years. Ring adopts a more personal perspective, although she is as much a scholar as Cohen. The views and hopes of a parent shine through. The organization of the material is no less impressive than for Cohen, but greater attention is paid to related sports such as cricket and softball. Both books contribute greatly to our understanding of gender bias and the beliefs underpinning sexist assumptions. Both point to positive advances in society at large and on the ball field in particular. Public libraries should consider both, while Cohen is essential for academic libraries.


—Margaret Heilbrun, Gilles Renaud

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780252079153
Publisher:
University of Illinois Press
Publication date:
01/02/2013
Edition description:
1st Edition
Pages:
216
Sales rank:
1,362,205
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.70(d)

Meet the Author

Jennifer Ring is a professor of political science and former director of women's studies at the University of Nevada, Reno. Her previous publications include The Political Consequences of Thinking: Gender and Judaism in the Work of Hannah Arendt, as well as works in political theory and gender and identity politics.

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