This week, Louisville Slugger Museum observed an often underappreciated aspect of baseball history with “Women in Baseball Week,” celebrating the accomplishments of women in the sport and educating guests on those accolades.
The celebration, which continues through Saturday, featured regular events to honor women in baseball, including trivia games about, educational performances about women in World War II and famed pitcher Jackie Mitchell, mini bat and bat nub decorating, and a presentation on “bloomer girls.”
“I think primarily baseball is thought to be a boys’—a man’s game,” said Bailey Mazik, the curatorial specialist at the Slugger Museum. “But women, throughout the entire history of baseball, have made some pretty big impacts and have made it their own as well, so we’re trying to shed some light on that diversity and show how rich the sport is and its history is.”
Mazik was the speaker during the presentation about bloomer girls, a name given to girls who wore clothing that was loose-fitting and more comfortable than traditional female attire during the late 1800s and early 1900s, according to the presentation.
“Bloomer Girls Baseball” was a brand of baseball played by the girls who wore these “bloomers” during play. The bloomers helped them play the sport more comfortably, as they allowed for more movement.
Mazik’s speech shed light on the Bloomer Girls teams that played around the country and competed against men’s teams.
There was also a daily educational performance that detailed the most famous success of Jackie Mitchell, a female pitcher who played for the Chattanooga Lookouts and struck out both Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig during an exhibition against the New York Yankees.
The famed moment was detailed by Kelly Moore, a teaching artist from the Frazier History Museum, who dressed up like Mitchell and told parts of her life story.
“There’s a rich history that really is not part of the general conversation,” said Natalie Guyon, the programming manager at the Slugger Museum. “Most people focus on men playing baseball, which is all well and good, but women have an impact and continue to today with things like the women’s baseball world cup, which happens every two years.”
This is the second year that the Slugger Museum has participated in Women in Baseball Week, which was created by the International Women’s Baseball Center in 2017.
Saturday is the final day of the week of events. Guests can get their last chance to experience the events from about 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.