In 1868 in Peterboro, New York, an upstate village some
seventy-five miles from Seneca Falls, where the women’s suffrage movement was
born, a contest between two female clubs was reported in a New York newspaper
calledDay’s Doings, a
sensationalist sex-story journal self-avowedly devoted to “current events of
romance, police reports, important trials, and sporting news.” By the mid-1870s
exhibitions of women’s baseball had generally taken the form of Blondes vs.
Brunettes, with varying geographic modifiers applied to each. These
pulchritudinous nines typically used a smaller than regulation ball made only
of yarn, played the game on a fifty-foot diamond, and barnstormed their way
through a legion of appreciative “bald-headed men,” a codename in theatrical
circles for voyeurists of a certain age who liked to sit in the first row.
Content copyright . John Thorn. All rights reserved.