Yankees right sexist wrong by offering fan bat girl duties 60 years later

·3 min read

Gwen Goldman grew up a die-hard New York Yankees fan and at the age of 10 she wrote the club describing her dream of being a bat girl. 

That was in 1961, and as was standard for the times then-Yankees general manager Roy Hamey wrote back to decline the offer as a "young lady such as yourself would feel out of place in a dugout." 

Sixty years to the day after that initial letter, the Yankees reached out to Goldman to remedy it and make her dream come true in a heartwarming video call. 

Yankees surprise lifelong fan with bat girl duties

The Yankees were made aware of the letter by Goldman's daughter, Abby, who forwarded it to general manager Brian Cashman. The letter still hangs on Goldman's living room wall as a sign of "my love for the Yankees and to hold on to a dream," she said. 

The letter denied her dreams based on gender and delivered misogynistic undertones. Hamey wrote:

“While we agree with you that girls are certainly as capable as boys, and no doubt would be an attractive addition on the playing field, I am sure you can understand that in a game dominated by men a young lady such as yourself would feel out of place in a dugout.”

The Yankees, led by Cashman, the team's front office and pitcher Gerrit Cole, offered bat girl responsibilities to Goldman to kick off HOPE Week (Helping Others Preserve and Excel). They surprised her, her husband Peter McLoughlin and other members of their family on a touching video call offering the position. 

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The new letter was read by Cashman on the call. 

"Although your long ago correspondence took place 60 years ago — six years before I was born — I feel compelled to resurrect your original request and do what I can to bring your childhood dream to life. 

“Here at the Yankees, we have championed to break down gender barriers in our industry. It is an ongoing commitment rooted in the belief that a woman belongs everywhere a man does, including the dugout. And despite the fact that six decades have passed since you first aspired to hold down the position as a New York Yankees Bat Girl, it is not too late to reward and recognize the ambition you showed in writing that letter to us as a 10-year-old girl.”

Goldman was clearly surprised, as was her husband. She'll take on the role when the Los Angeles Angels come to Yankee Stadium on Monday. 

"You know when they say dreams come true? This is it. This is an amazing dream that has come true," Goldman said. 

Cole will stand alongside her at the game and help her out with tips, like the "sneaky routes and quick ways to get in." 

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