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Women's baseball week
honors past, aims at
more accessible future

By George Castle
Thursday, July 20th, 2017

When I heard about International Women in Baseball Week (July 24-30), I thought some activists were inspired by the recently cancelled Fox series Pitch to campaign for a female major-leaguer. Or at least a team general manager who could rebuild as actively as Theo Epstein or Rick Hahn.

International Women's Baseball Center founders and former All-American Girls Professional Baseball League players Maybelle Blair and Shirley Burkovich meet with a young player at the Baseball For All Nationals event. Photo courtesy of Cami J Kidder, producer of the forth coming documentary

International Women's Baseball Center founders and former All-American Girls Professional Baseball League players Maybelle Blair and Shirley Burkovich meet with a young player at the Baseball For All Nationals event. Photo courtesy of Cami J Kidder, producer of the forth coming documentary "Throw Like A Girl" and IWBC board member.


While the GM gig remains in play for any fledging female front-office exec, a Marshall University professor named Kat Williams disabused me of the idea near-future five-year plans should include a female player, a la the soft-tossing African-American woman on Pitch.

Williams doubles as president of the International Women's Baseball Center, which is staging a women's baseball — not softball — tournament during the women's baseball week near the home field of the Rockford Peaches popularized in the 1992 movie A League of Their Own.

STORY >>


 

Manfred, MLB lobby NCAA
for hikes in baseball rides to cut
choke point for African-Americans


By George Castle, CBM Historian
Posted Friday, July 21st, 2017

Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred (left) and Chief Operating Officer Tony Petitti have lobbied the NCAA for an increase in baseball scholarships. Manfred photo via Arturo Pardavila III at https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Rob_Manfred_7-15-2014.jpg. Petitti photo via Haverford College at https://www.haverford.edu/college-communications/news/balls-his-court-tony-petitti-83-ascends-high-position-cbs-sports

Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred (left) and Chief Operating Officer Tony Petitti have lobbied the NCAA for an increase in baseball scholarships. Manfred photo via Arturo Pardavila III. Petitti photo via Haverford College.

Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred, a national power broker in his own right, may not be strong enough to loosen a stricture in the hyper-bureaucratic NCAA.

But at least Manfred is taking his cuts to whack at the final choke point of declining African-American participation in baseball — the tight 11.7 scholarships allowed for each college baseball team. Factoring in 25 to 27 players, the math does not promote complete athletic scholarships for almost all baseball players, prompting many African-Americans to instead choose far more plentiful full rides in football and basketball.

Tony Reagins, senior vice president of youth programs for Major League Baseball, said on July 20 Manfred and Tony Petitti, MLB's chief operating officer, have recently spoken to the NCAA about loosening the scholarship limits that have frustrated college coaches and encouraged the African-American decline, now representing just 8 percent of big-league players.

The Chicago Baseball Museum has repeatedly advocated a commissioner’s effort to approach the stuffy NCAA to increase scholarships — a tough task given college baseball's relatively minor status in the revenue-generating flow into college programs. Some colleges have actually dropped their baseball programs in the past two decades.

Making Manfred's and Petitti's quest go further uphill is the necessity to accommodate Title IX's requirements to offer a full range of women's athletic scholarships. As the 1971-vintage Title IX became entrenched, baseball programs had to take a hit in the number of equivalent full scholarships allotted.
STORY >>

Eloy Jimenez's
athletic start

Jose Quintana
Cubs-Sox trade

Cubs ad man
Sitrick, WW II vet



A multi-media celebration of Chicago’s own Double Duty Radcliffe

'Double Duty' Ted Radcliffe: Chicago's own Negro League superstar

Double Duty Ted Radcliffe was Chicago’s own Negro League superstar. Those who knew him and his work insist Duty would have been a star big-leaguer behind the plate and a very competent starting pitcher had the color line not been firmly entrenched in the prime of his career.

In connection with the DD Classic and as a permanent way to honor Duty, the Chicago Baseball Museum is presenting this special tribute to the great man and also assisted with the Double Duty exhibit at the DuSable Museum. On our 'Double Duty' microsite, we recount his long career with his own words, photos that show the ballplayer, the colorful personality and as a special treat, Duty’s own taped recollections from WGN-TV’s 1992 "Chicago American Giants" special.

STORY >>
Visit the 'Double Duty' microsite >>
Visit White Sox’ Double Duty Classic >>

Jack Brickhouse: Our man
for all sports seasons

Jack Brickhouse: Our man for all seasons

Jack Brickhouse enjoyed a life of firsts. He was the first voice heard on WGN-TV when it signed on 1948. He was the first Chicago voice heard on a trans-Atlantic satellite broadcast in 1962. He called eight no-hitters, six Gale Sayers touchdowns in one game and the better part of 45 runs scored in a 1979 Cubs-Phillies contest.

The Chicago Baseball Museum pays tribute to Brickhouse in this special Jack Brickhouse microsite at a time the Cubs are honoring him with a special bobblehead day, as part of their Wrigley Field 100th anniversary celebration. The website recalls different facets of Brickhouse’s life, including stories, photos from the collection of Pat Brickhouse, Jack’s wife, and a wide variety of video and audio highlights from his career.

STORY >>
Visit the Jack Brickhouse microsite >>
Chicago Tribune: Cubs will honor
Jack Brickhouse Friday >>


Jerome Holtzman Library

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