Gwen Goldman realizes her Yankees bat girl dream 60 years later

Sixty years after declaring the dugout was no place for a girl, the Yankees rectified their mistake and made one fan’s dreams come true.

Sixty years after declaring the dugout was no place for a girl, the Yankees rectified their mistake and made one fan’s dreams come true.

In 1961, 10-year-old Gwen Goldman wrote to her favorite team and asked to become its bat girl. Then-general manager Roy Hamey declined her request in a letter that has been sitting in Goldman’s living room since.

“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.

Goldman’s daughter, Abby, forwarded the letter to current general manager Brian Cashman, who penned a new letter stating that Goldman could finally fulfill her childhood dream. Monday, she served as the Bronx Bombers’ honorary bat girl and threw the ceremonial first pitch.

Gwen Goldman waves to the crowd after she was introduced as the bat girl at Yankee Stadium on Monday night.
Charles Wenzelberg/New York Post

“Here at the Yankees, we have championed to break down gender barriers in our industry. It is an ongoing commitment rooted in the belief that a woman belongs everywhere a man does, including the dugout,” Cashman wrote. “Despite the fact that six decades have passed since you first aspired to hold down the position as a New York Yankees Bat Girl, it is not too late to reward and recognize the ambition you showed in writing that letter to us as a 10-year-old girl.”

Goldman pointed to the changes that have taken place in sports to allow her to reach this moment. While there are still no women playing in MLB, over the past decade women have begun to serve in almost every other position in the league.

The Yankees are the only professional sports team to have had two female assistant GMs — one of whom, Kim Ng, was hired as the league’s first female GM in November.

“The Yankees have just been so gracious to honor me with this to be able to start off Hope Week and to see that girls can stand here, and we can be bat girls, too, and we can be in the front office,” she said.

Goldman was the first honoree for 2021 Hope Week, which celebrates the accomplishments of a different fan or organization each day. Goldman donned a full Yankees uniform and spent some time before the game with ace Gerrit Cole.

“Gerrit will probably have her in good hands and making sure she’s safe and where she needs to be. Hopefully, it’s an experience of a lifetime for her and a long one coming,” manager Aaron Boone said.

When asked if he gave Goldman any advice before the game, Cole simply responded: “Just have fun.”

Yankees shortstop Tyler Wade gives Gwen Goldman the ball after she threw out the ceremonial first pitch on Monday night.
Bill Kostroun/New York Post

“I told her that I watch more games than I actually play in, so I have a good feel for how the dugout works. If she needs any pointers, go ahead and reach out. I just want her to be comfortable, have fun tonight,” he said.

Joined by her husband, two daughters, son-in-law and her two grandchildren, Goldman said she’s never had such an “amazing” feeling as she did prior to the game. Before the matchup, she read her old letter and shed some tears, so in awe of the experience she would take part in.

The 70-year-old native of Westport, Conn., who now lives in Newtown, Conn., fell in love with the Yankees because of her father, who would take her to games. When she attended summer camp, he mailed her clippings with the Yankees’ record.

Gwen Goldman helps out during her time as Yankees bat girl on Monday night.
Charles Wenzelberg/New York Post

Goldman said she hopes pursuing her goals will inspire young women, including her daughters, Abby and Sarah, and granddaughter, Lila, to chase their dreams, as well.

“It was worth writing that letter. It was worth having that. It was worth pursuing that and trying,” she said. “You want to do something go after it.”

This story originally appeared on: NyPost - Author:Elizabeth Karpen

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