Ladies on First

Don and Petie Kladstrup
Aug 24 · 3 min read

Dear Commissioner Manfred,

Did you notice the television audience for the soccer League Championship Sunday night? Almost 400 million viewers in countries around the world.

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Bayern Munchen victorious

(The Super Bowl, by comparison, got only about one-quarter as many — 100 million.) The whole world watched the League finals. Not just the US, Canada and the Spanish-speaking parts of Latin America.

One heck of a lot of those viewers were female — wives, mothers, daughters, sisters, single women, "coupled" ones, old, young, very young. You know, the whole gender.

Why?

Because it's an exciting game played-and understood-at a high level by BOTH SEXES.

Yes, Mr. Manfred, girls play, too, and so do women.

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US Women Victorious

They even have professional leagues and a World Cup which 1.1 billion people watched last year. (By the way, that's "world" in the sense of the whole planet, not in the sense of "World" Series, and may I remind you, only about 13 million tune into that series.)

So, what should this say to you and baseball team owners and others in the baseball establishment?

Here's what: Start pitching money at girls' and women's baseball, and start throwing it right away. With much of the sports world on Covid-19 pause, you now have the opportunity to figure out the best programs and how to get money out there so that it has the most benefit for baseball for females of all ages. Get women involved in the planning immediately; we have a pretty good idea of what we'd like.

As an attorney, Mr. Manfred, you can appreciate that you even have precedent for this.

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Professional Baseball Players

Remember the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League? And the movie about it, "A League of Their Own?" And the exciting Little League pitcher Mo'ne Davis?

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Mo'ne Davis

Please do not plead poverty or toss out some other excuse. Your owners are profit-full. Your TV revenues are golden, not to mention the income from the sale of caps, jerseys, and millions of pieces of ephemera. Just think, with more people of the female gender playing and enjoying the game, you could even increase your incomes.

Plus, you'd be creating an insurance policy for the future: more young people in the game now, more money in the pocket and more fans in the future. And if you do it right, you might even get interest in baseball expanded around the globe. Think about it, what municipality wants to set aside a big chunk of land that can be used only for one type of sport and for only one sex? It just doesn't make sense. Give every town and city and country a reason to add a diamond to its athletic space. Bring on the girls.

Plus, as it stands right now, there are moments, as during the NFL season or the NBA championships, or sometime during the 11th inning and its past my bedtime, when "the national pastime" begins to look like it's past its time.

Don't forget, this year is the 100th anniversary of women's suffrage in the United States. Could there be a more appropriate moment to make a big push toward women and girls in baseball than this?!!

You need a home run, a grand slam to bring everybody home to baseball. So, let's modify that old chestnut: Women belong at home — and on the mound and in the field. Ladies not only first, but ON FIRST.

Sincerely yours,

Petie Kladstrup

P.S. Don't worry about space. Girls won't mind sharing their gym with the guys.

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