Bryn Mawr woman blazed trail for girls in Little League

EMBED </>More Videos

She may have been the first girl in our area to play little League baseball, but she was also one of the first to have her dreams dashed.

Long before Mo'ne Davis took the Little League World Series by storm or before any local girl played Little League baseball, there was a young female player from Bryn Mawr, whose dream was to play ball with the boys.

She was one of the first girls in our area to play little League baseball, but she was also one of the first to have her dreams dashed.

It was 1972 and girls were not allowed in Little League then but Joanne Glusman was 9 years old and not only loved the sport, but was a skilled player.

"I could definitely hold my own with the boys," said Glusman.

She practiced with the Broomall Reds Little League. The father of one of the boys, a neighbor, was the coach.

"He approached me and said, 'You're good. You should play on the team and he just had me put my ponytail under my hat," said Glusman.

She went by the nickname 'Joey.'

"People just saw the new kid and thought the new kid was pretty good," said Glusman.

However in the next game, 'Joey' left her hair outside her cap and the new kid became a girl.

"I was about to bat and I remember this man showing up and stopped everything," said Glusman.

It was the Little League commissioner, who told her coach she couldn't play.

The controversy landed Joanne on the front page of the local newspaper, 'The Bulletin,' and on The Mike Douglas Show.

Glusman also received a letter from the Little League, which listed the reasons she was not allowed to play.

Some of the reasons included in the letter: Girls have a slower reaction time than boys, girls are inferior in strength to boys, and arm length is less than boys.

"I knew that didn't make sense and my parents assured me it didn't make sense," said Glusman.

Little League rules were by unanimous act of the Senate and House of Representatives and it was signed by President Lyndon Johnson.

Now, 42 years later, Glusman says it's heartwarming to see so many girls, participating in Little League baseball and to watch Mo'ne Davis in the Little League World Series.

"To see her embraced and supported by everybody, not even a skipped beat at the fact that she's a girl," said Glusman.
Related Topics:
sportslittle leaguesportsbaseballpa. newsBryn Mawr
(Copyright ©2018 WPVI-TV. All Rights Reserved.)