WYSK friend Michele Sinisgalli-Yulo, the founder of Princess Free Zone, Inc., a brand that offers an alternative to all things princess for little girls by addressing issues of gender and gender stereotyping, sent us an awesome tweet earlier this week…
@WomenYSK these girls just competed in all boys tournie. They are fearless warriors paving a road for all girls. pic.twitter.com/zHxEQMdzpa
— Princess Free Zone (@PFZinc) December 21, 2016
In addition to being a kickass advocate, Michele is the mom of an 11-year-old daughter who has been playing sports with the boys since the age of four. This tournament is the culmination of a lot of hard work, dedication and acceptance… because it’s still a rare sight to see girls on the baseball field.
“There were nine girls who came from different parts of the country to compete as a team in a Baseball Youth All American Tournament, which was all boys,” Michele explains. “They competed in the 12U bracket, which meant we were playing against mostly 12 year old boys. Our team consisted of one nine-year-old, a few 11s, and a couple of 12s. We represented an organization called Girls Travel Baseball (GTB) which is based out of Sunrise, FL.”
We asked Michele how the girls were received and if they experienced any pushback from other players or teams. “The tournament itself was happy to have the girls. It was amazing to see them earn the respect of parents, coaches and players.”
And while the team didn’t win any games, they did come away winners! The team coach, Josh Devinney shared, “I had the honor of introducing a new generation of female athletes to the GTB family. These girls pitched inside, ran the bases and hit lasers all week. These girls never quit, never gave in, never backed down and were relentless in their fight. Look out world, here comes the GTB Young Guns!!!!!!!! And they are way out of your boys’ league so don’t get near them!!!!”
Women have been playing baseball since it was invented. Women’s dreams of playing baseball have been deferred for the same length of time. There are legions of women who’ve missed out on playing the game they love, so to see this photo and hear about these girls and the support they are getting, is a huge step in the right direction! We have a feeling we’ll be hearing a lot more about this team in the future.