Bloomer Girls Women Baseball Pioneers

Review :

Shattuck's book explores the shift from baseball as a genderless boys and girls game to one coded as masculine, and how women still played the game in droves in the 19th century. The height of the book shows in the 1890s, at the boom of the bloomer girl teams, or professional women's baseball, with even a few instances of women playing on men's pro teams. Still, Shattuck shows how women played the games at all levels, from pickup to civic to factory to travel/entertainment teams and beyond. She also illustrates how a hostile media lampooned the women's game at every opportunity in order to try to drive women's ball away, despite massive crowds at women's games (which often ended in riots.) Any student of the history of baseball and social/cultural understandings of American history through gender lenses must read this book.


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