Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Tampa Yankees aim to raise awareness of modern-day 'League of Their Own'

The 1992 film "A League of Their Own" commemorated the AAGPBL, which began play in 1943 during World War II and continued until 1954. [Columbia Pictures]

The 1992 film "A League of Their Own" commemorated the AAGPBL, which began play in 1943 during World War II and continued until 1954. [Columbia Pictures]

More than 60 years ago, Sue Zipay took to the field as a member of the Rockford Peaches, a trailblazing women's baseball team in the All American Girls Professional Baseball League.

Now, Zipay and the Tampa Yankees want to give female baseball players another chance to show their abilities.

The East Coast Yankees and New England Women Red Sox, two independent women's baseball teams, will play at 3 p.m. on June 24 at George M. Steinbrenner Field in Tampa, followed by the Tampa Yankees-Dunedin Blue Jays game at 6:30. Part of the proceeds from the game will go to the Women's Sports Museum, a nonprofit organization Zipay founded.

The 1992 film "A League of Their Own" commemorated the AAGPBL, which began play in 1943 during World War II and continued until 1954. The doubleheader — dubbed "A League of Their Own Tribute Night" — will commemorate the movie's 25th anniversary. After the second game, fans will be able to watch the movie on the video board.

Jeremy Ventura, the Tampa Yankees' sales coordinator, reached out to the Women's Sports Museum when he saw the movie's anniversary coming up.

"I grew up loving the movie, so I thought it would be cool to tie 'A League of Their Own' to (current women's baseball)," Ventura said. "It was kind of a shot in the dark when I reached out to them to see if they were on board, and lo and behold, Sue Zipay was an original Rockford Peach."

The Women's Sports Museum seeks to "inspire young girls to participate in athletics by providing education and activities centered around the world of sports," according to its website. The organization is seeking funding for operational expenses and to build the museum itself; Zipay said it's evaluating potential sites in the area for the building.

In addition to raising funds for the museum, Zipay hoped the partnership with the Tampa Yankees would "get the public to see the talent that these young girls have with baseball."

The East Coast Yankees typically play invitational tournaments against other independent teams, said Adriane Adler, the club's manager and a former baseball player. The team has a "healthy friendship and rivalry" with the New England Women Red Sox, she added.

The Tampa Yankees have invited local softball teams and Girl Scout troops to attend the game, Ventura said, as the team has promoted it as a "women in sports-themed night." And that mantra suits Adler, who said the East Coast Yankees want to "grow opportunities for girls and women" to play baseball.

"For many years, there's just been pockets of girls who are able to play high school baseball ... but in some communities, they're just told, 'No, go play softball,'" Adler said. "We just want to see it so that girls have the opportunity to stay with baseball from the time they take it up."

Tampa Yankees aim to raise awareness of modern-day 'League of Their Own' 06/19/17 [Last modified: Monday, June 19, 2017 12:11pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. College World Series: Gators, LSU face off in all-SEC finals

    College

    OMAHA, Neb. — The matchup for the College World Series finals bolsters the case for those who say the best baseball in the land is played in the SEC.

    Florida’s Brady Singer, delivering during a CWS win over Louisville last week, is scheduled to start tonight against LSU.
  2. Jones: Fox Sports Sun shows depth in Rays coverage

    TV and Radio

    tom jones' two cents

    Tampa Bay Times columnist Tom Jones looks back at the best and worst from a weekend of televised sports.

    Best coverage

    Tampa Bay Rays third baseman Evan Longoria (3) makes a run home for a score in the in the final game of a three-game series between the Tampa Bay Rays and AL East rival the Baltimore Orioles at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Sunday, June 25, 2017.
  3. Brian Boyle says returning to Lightning a 'huge option'

    Blogs

    As former Lightning forward Brian Boyle approaches free agency this week, he said he's trying to stay busy.

  4. Rays journal: Blake Snell to rejoin rotation, Erasmo Ramirez heads to bullpen

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — LHP Blake Snell is rejoining the Rays' rotation, but the move has as much to do with helping the bullpen as it does with Snell's improvement during his time at Triple-A Durham.

    Tampa Bay Rays relief pitcher Erasmo Ramirez (30) delivers a pitch in the first inning against the Cincinnati Reds Wednesday, June 21, 2017 in St. Petersburg.
  5. Rays' bullpen stars lit up in loss to Orioles

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Saturday it was the soft underbelly of the bullpen that let one get away from the Rays, incurring the wrath of the team's faithful followers, who wondered why the high-leverage guys weren't pitching.

    Rays closer Alex Colome, coming in with the score tied in the ninth, allows three runs in his second straight poor outing.