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70-year-old becomes Yankees' bat girl 60 years after being rejected for being a girl

"Some dreams take longer than they should to be realized," said Yankees general manager, Brian Cashman, "but a goal attained should not dim with the passage of time."

70-year-old becomes Yankees' bat girl 60 years after being rejected for being a girl
Cover Image Source: 70-year-old honorary bat girl Gwen Goldman during the first inning against the Los Angeles Angels at Yankee Stadium on June 28, 2021, in the Bronx borough of New York City. (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)

Gwen Goldman has been a fan of the New York Yankees for as long as she can remember. Some of her earliest memories are of going to the games with her father and him including newspaper clippings in his letters when she was away at camp each summer so she could stay up-to-date on her team. At age 10, Goldman wrote to then-Yankees general manager Roy Hamey expressing her dream to be the team's bat girl, the person responsible for helping to retrieve bats and fulfill other tasks during a game. However, in response, Hamey told her a young lady such as herself would "feel out of place in a 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 in a game dominated by men a young lady such as yourself would feel out of place in a dugout," he wrote in the letter she received back, dated June 12, 1961. Sixty years later, Goldman proved him wrong. On Monday, she was invited to the Bronx to serve as the bat girl for her beloved team after daughter, Abby McLoughlin, reached out to them earlier this year about Hamey's letter — which Goldman has displayed on her living room wall.


Wearing a full Yankees uniform, Goldman walked onto the field at Yankee Stadium and threw out a ceremonial first pitch before a game against the Los Angeles Angels. According to The New York Times, the 70-year-old also got the chance to accompany the team's third-base coach, Phil Nevin, when he took the lineup card out to the umpires before the game. The lifelong fan happily chatted and gave fist pumps to the players, all of whom, she said, had been very kind to her and thanked her for her story and for supporting them.


"It's been an amazing opportunity," Goldman said in a news conference after her appearance. "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, and it's obviously taking my words away. It was a thrill of a lifetime — times a million."


Despite being turned down because of her gender 60 years ago, Goldman said in a video call with team's current general manager, Brian Cashman, that she never held it against the team and kept Hamey's response to show her "love for the Yankees and to hold on to a dream. It wasn't what I wanted to see, but they wrote me a letter and I've always loved them... But I never in my wildest dreams ever thought that 60 years later, Brian Cashman would make this become a reality."


"Thank you from the bottom of my heart," she said. "I am overwhelmed... Thank you for doing this for us women. And for moving forward and opening the world up to the populations. Oh my God, I feel like I'm in a dream to tell you the truth." Cashman also surprised Goldman with a new letter June 23, 2021, saying that "a woman belongs everywhere a man does, including the dugout" and that it was "not too late to reward and recognize the ambition you showed in writing that letter to us as a 10-year-old girl."


"Some dreams take longer than they should to be realized," he added, "but a goal attained should not dim with the passage of time." Jean Afterman, the Yankees' longtime assistant general manager, also attended the video call telling Goldman about her invitation. Afterman, one of the highest-ranking female executives in baseball, reminded Goldman that she was in her 20th season with the team and that the Yankees were the only team in baseball to hire two women in such prominent roles. In November, her predecessor Kim Ng became the first woman to serve as a major league general manager when she was hired by the Miami Marlins. "You chose the right team to root for," Afterman said.

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