70-Year-Old Woman Becomes Yankees' Bat Girl, Six Decades After She Was Rejected for the Position
A longtime New York Yankees fan is living out her childhood dream six decades later.
Gwen Goldman, 70, became an honorary bat girl at the Yankees' home game against the Los Angeles Angels on Monday — 60 years after she had asked to serve in the position and was rejected.
In addition, the Connecticut native also threw out the ceremonial first pitch as a part of the team's 2021 HOPE Week initiative, which aims to shine a light on inspirational people.
Back in 1961, a 10-year-old Goldman wrote to then-Yankees general manager Roy Hamey expressing her dream to be a bat girl for the Bronx Bombers.
According to a response she had received that was shared on social media by the Yankees organization this month, her request wasn't granted because she was a girl.
"While we agree with you that girls are certainly as capable as boys, and no doubt would be an attractive addition on the playing field, I am sure you can understand that in a game dominated by men a young lady such as yourself would feel out of place in a dugout," Hamey wrote her.
Despite the rejection, Goldman hung Hamey's letter on her living room wall to show her "love for the Yankees and to hold on to a dream," she explained in a video call with team's current general manager, Brian Cashman, released on Wednesday.
During the call, Goldman was surprised with an invite to Yankees Stadium to fulfill her dream after her daughter, Abby, had forwarded the Hamey's letter to Cashman.
"Although your long-ago correspondence took place 60 years ago — six years before I was born — I feel compelled to resurrect your original request and do what I can to bring your childhood dream to life," Cashman told Goldman, reading from a new letter addressed to the longtime fan.
"Here at the Yankees, we have championed to break down gender barriers in our industry. It is an ongoing commitment rooted in the belief that a woman belongs everywhere a man does, including the dugout," he said.
"And despite the fact that six decades have passed since you first aspired to hold down the position as a New York Yankees Bat Girl, it is not too late to reward and recognize the ambition you showed in writing that letter to us as a 10-year-old girl."
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Visibly emotional, Goldman replied, "It is my honor and my dream, and I can't thank you enough for making this come true."
"Thank you for doing this for us women and for moving forward and opening the world up to the population," she added. "I feel like I'm in a dream, to tell you the truth."
Sadly, Monday's game wasn't a dream for the Yankees. They were bested by the Angels, 5-3.