NEW YORK >> Gwen Goldman finally got to be a bat girl for the New York Yankees — 60 years after she was turned down because of her gender.
At 70, Goldman worked at Yankee Stadium during the game against the Los Angeles Angels tonight.
She had been rejected by then-general manager Roy Hamey, who wrote her in a letter on June 23, 1961: “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 it is a game dominated by men a young lady such as yourself would feel out of place in a dugout.”
Current Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said he had been forwarded an email written by Goldman’s daughter, Abby. In a letter dated this June 23, Cashman wrote “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.”
“Some dreams take longer than they should to be realized, but a goal attained should not dim with the passage of time,” Cashman added. “I have a daughter myself, and it is my sincere hope that every little girl will be given the opportunity to follow her aspirations into the future.”
Wearing a full Yankees uniform, Goldman threw out a ceremonial first pitch to New York player Tyler Wade, then stood alongside manager Aaron Boone for the national anthem.
“I think it’s really cool,” Boone said after meeting her. “I think you’re going to see her probably take balls out at some point to home plate. … Hopefully it’s an experience of a lifetime for her and a long one in coming.”
New York extended the invitation as part of the Yankees’ annual HOPE week, which stands for Helping Others Persevere & Excel.
After the third inning, the Yankees played a video that included the letters and a Zoom session in which Cashman, assistant general manager Jean Afterman and pitcher Gerrit Cole were among those informing her of the offer.
She then was introduced to the crowd, walked up the Yankees dugout steps onto the field and waved her cap as fans applauded.