A 70-year-old woman from Connecticut fulfilled her dream by serving as honorary batgirl at Yankee Stadium, 60 years after she was denied from the dugout because of her gender.
At 10 years old, Gwen Goldman wrote a letter to the Yankees asking to serve as their bat girl. The letter from 1961 that the team’s general manager, Roy Hamey, wrote back said that girls did not belong in the dugout.
“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 it is a game dominated by men a young lady such as yourself would feel out of place in a dugout,” Hamey wrote in the letter that Goldman has kept all these years.
Six decades later, her dream finally came true after her daughter wrote to the team and included the 1961 rejection letter. Goldman wore the classic pinstripes as she walked onto the field at Yankee Stadium for the first time, wiping a tear from her eye. She was even able to throw out the first pitch.
“It’s been an amazing opportunity,” Goldman said in a video call with reporters during the game. “A day of a lifetime I can’t put into words. I don’t know where to start on which was the best, which or what did I enjoy the most. Just the whole piece from walking in the front door of the stadium to coming up to a locker with my name on it, Gwen Goldman, and suiting up, and walking out onto the field. It took my breath away.”
Goldman, a retired social worker from Newtown, Connecticut, represents another victory for females in an overwhelmingly male industry. The event was part of the Yankees’ annual HOPE week, which stands for “Helping Others Perservere and Excel.”