Over 500 girls ages 8-19 are set to play at the 6th annual Baseball For All Nationals: the largest girls baseball tournament in North America. This year, the tournament will be hosted at The Ripken ExperienceTM Aberdeen and will welcome the largest number of girls to ever play at a baseball tournament in U.S. history.
“Our organization isn’t just about girls playing baseball-it’s addressing the larger issue of gender equity in the game,” says Dr Justine Siegal, PhD, founder of Baseball For All. “To this day, too many girls are told they shouldn’t (or can’t) play baseball because they’re girls. When they come to BFA Nationals, many of them realize for the first time that they’re not alone and more importantly, that they belong in baseball.”
Since 2015, this youth baseball tournament has seen an over 240% rise in the number of girls participating. Of the nearly 50 teams who are participating this year, 11 are brand new programs representing cities like Atlanta, the Bronx, Cleveland, Philadelphia, Providence, Seattle, and San Diego for the first time.
During Opening Ceremonies on July 18, five former All-American Girls Professional Baseball League players will be in attendance, including Maybelle Blair, Shirley Berkovich, Jeneane Lesko, Jeannie Manina, and Gloria McCloskey. Members of the media are welcome to attend Opening Ceremonies, and all of the attending AAGPBL legends, our players, coaches, and Justine Siegal, will be available for interviews throughout the entirety of the tournament.
Year after year, Baseball For All Nationals is the largest girls baseball tournament in the country and continues to innovate, creating new opportunities for girls in baseball to grow and succeed in the sport. In 2021, Baseball For All also announced their Women’s College Baseball initiative to build opportunities for girls who want to play at the next level. This year, the organization is set to host the first-ever Women’s College Baseball Invitational at Centenary University in August and will jumpstart 10 Women’s Club College Baseball teams across the country as it works toward making Women’s College Baseball an NCAA-sanctioned sport.
Baseball For All began when founder, Dr Justine Siegal, PhD was told at the age of 13 that she couldn’t play because she was a girl. Instead of giving up, she worked hard to become the first woman to coach professional men’s baseball (Brockton Rox, 2009)-and the first female to coach for a Major League Baseball Organization (Oakland A’s, 2015, Fall Instructional League). With this momentum, Siegal deepened her commitment to girls baseball, providing more opportunities for girls to play, coach, and lead in the sport.
About Baseball for All:
Baseball For All is a 501(c)3 national nonprofit building gender equity in baseball by providing girls across America opportunities to play, coach, and lead. Featured in hundreds of media outlets including Newsweek, ESPN, Sports Illustrated, MLB.com, and the New York Times, Baseball for All is the definitive resource for media looking for answers and thoughts on girls and women playing baseball.
SOURCE: Baseball For All