My Turn at Bat: Playing With The Boys

| December 21, 2000

My Turn at Bat: Playing With The Boys, Jodi Ayres, Elysian Fields Quarterly
All through high school, Jodi Ayres proved to herself and to her peers that she deserved her second-base position on the baseball team. Ayres, a Minnesota librarian, writes in the literary sports journal Elysian Fields Quarterly: 'I hated softball with a passion. It was a conspiracy, a menacing force always lurking in the shadows trying to keep me from playing baseball. A perversion of the game I loved. The big ball, the underhand pitching, the small field--what was that? It surely was not the game I fell in love with that first day my dad took me to old Metropolitan Stadium, the game I dreamed about at night, the game I breathed in like oxygen, the game that renewed me every spring.' That passion fed her till midway through her junior year, when the jeers of a rival team finally got to her. In a thoughtful essay, Ayres shares how her perspective of her role as the only woman on an all-male team changed from one of pride to embarrassment.
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