In a modest move that nonetheless represented Major League Baseball’s most direct investment in girl’s baseball to date, the professional sports league teamed up with USA Baseball to sponsor the first-ever Trailblazer Series tournament, a girls’ youth baseball tournament that aims to encourage girls to pursue the traditionally male-dominated sport.
In 2015, the MLB and its players union pledged $30 million to initiatives intended to increase baseball and softball participation. The inaugural Trailblazer Series, which concluded on April 15, came as a part of those efforts — and also marked the first time the MLB had ever hosted a girls’ youth baseball tournament.
“I didn’t know girls played baseball,” said Ja’nae Wray, a 12-year-old from Douglasville, Georgia, who was one of 100 girls to travel to Compton for the tournament. Despite never having played organized baseball before, Wray had no problem slamming a three-run homerun over the center field wall in tournament play.
Wray said she intends to play both baseball and softball when she goes back home — if all goes as planned, she’ll be joining the all-girls travel baseball team of a fellow Georgian she met at the tournament.
“I didn’t know there were girls’ teams,” said Wray. “I didn’t know there was a USA Baseball team. Now I’m really interested in it. It showed me that a lot of other girls play baseball, and I can play too.”
Read the full story at The Huffington Post.