The Girls of Summer

B aseball is a game of history. It's almost impossible to listen to a game on the radio without being reminded of a record set 37 years ago, or a player whose deeds have never been equaled, whose name is remembered long after he's gone.

He. Most of the names and deeds and records in baseball have been set by men. It's largely considered a man's game. But what if you take a closer look at that history?

The first team of professional baseball players, the Cincinnati Red Stockings, took the field in 1869. They were all male -- the first boys of summer. The first girls of summer, women who were paid to play baseball competed in their first game in 1875.

In the 1870s, an American woman could not vote. She could not own property in her own name after marriage. But she could play ball -- as well as it could be played in an outfit that weighed as much as 30 pounds and included a floor-length skirt, underskirts, a long-sleeved, high-necked blouse, and high button shoes.

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