The Introduction presents the thesis that baseball has not always been identified as a man’s game even though its boosters began proclaiming it a “manly” pastime from the moment it coalesced into a new sport in antebellum America. It explains that humans use sport to inculcate and express socio-cultural identities like race, gender, social class, and ethnicity. It argues that sports can have gendered characterizations; these gendered characterizations can take decades to solidify. Gender ideals are fluid, influenced by myriad factors, and jointly constructed by men and women. Both men and women have used sport to model and perpetuate ideals of masculinity and femininity. The history of women baseball players as been distorted by myth and misperception as baseball’s gendered identity solidified.
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