Pigskin Parade, the 1936 musical best known as Judy Garland’s film debut, features a story as unlikely now as it appears to have been unremarkable then: A bumbling football coach gets recruited from Flushing, Queens, to then-fictional Texas State University, where his wife pushes that team of underdogs to victory in an accidentally-scheduled game against Yale.
“For me in this process, I tell people all the time ‘it’s not enough to have it just be you,’” Welter says. “That’s selfish, if it was just them coaching football and there were no implications for anyone else. To me, that’s not enough. And so to hear about the other women at AAF who are doing a great job who are there in the trenches, it shows progress. And it encourages me to continue to not only kick butt on the field but to push for change in our society as a whole.”
In countries like Australia, Canada, and Japan, which has won the last five World Cups, teams and leagues exist specifically for girls and women. Their national teams are made up of professional athletes. In the U.S., not only are there are no reliable opportunities for women to play professional baseball, but the sport is still considered taboo for women — even though they’ve been playing it for over a century.
With more women in prominent NBA roles, there is still another hurdle to cross: the front office. The NBA has never had a woman hold general manager or president of basketball operations positions, and there don’t appear to be many women “in the pipeline” for these roles yet. But one former WNBA superstar could be the first woman to lead an NBA team’s front office. Her name? Tamika Catchings.
This isn’t the first time the Bills have broke boundaries for women, as the team hired the league’s first full-time female coach in 2016 when they named Kathryn Smith special teams quality control coach. Pegula will also be president of the Buffalo Sabres and Pegula Sports & Entertainment following the resignation of Russ Brandon. She is the only female president in the NHL, as well.
For many young women, softball is the only realistic avenue for turning their passion on the diamond into the kind of pursuit that can pave the way to a collegiate scholarship or beyond. This joint venture from the MLB and USA Baseball will help ensure America’s most promising young talents have an opportunity to find a place where their skills will be nurtured.