Sixty years ago, die-hard New York Yankees fan Gwen Goldman asked the team if she could serve as the team's bat girl for a night.
On Monday, she finally got her wish.
Initially told no because she's a girl, a beaming 70-year-old Goldman donned Yankees pinstripes for Monday's game against the Los Angeles Angels. In addition to serving as bat girl, Goldman had the honor of throwing out the first pitch.
Gwen Goldman told in 1961 she'd 'feel out of place in a dugout'
Goldman made her request of her favorite team in a 1961 letter. She was 10 years old. Then-general manager Roy Hamey took the time to respond to Goldman's request. He just didn't give her the answer she'd hoped for.
“Dear Gwen," Hamey's letter started. "Many thanks for you nice letter which was received in this morning's mail.
"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.”
That was the end of that. For six decades at least.
Brian Cashman looks to right Hamey's wrong
Last week, Yankees general manager Brian Cashman joined a video call alongside ace Gerrit Cole to surprise Goldman with good news. He'd sent a new letter to Goldman and invited her to serve as bat girl, an invitation that arrived 60 years to the day from the original rejection letter sent by Hamey.
Goldman, sitting alongside her husband, Peter McLoughlin, and joined by other family members on the call, happily accepted.
Why Goldman held on to her rejection letter
The rejection letter hadn't dimmed her Yankees fandom. In fact, she looked to it as a source of joy.
"It looks like the same one that's been hanging on my bulletin board since I've been 10 years old and loving forever," Goldman said.
She kept the the letter out of "my love for the Yankees and to hold on to a dream."
Cashman was tipped off to Goldman's story thanks to her daughter, Abby, who sent him a copy of the original rejection letter. In his letter to Goldman, Cashman welcomed the chance "to break down gender barriers" and wrote that it wasn't "too late to reward and recognize the ambition you showed in writing that letter to us as a 10-year-old girl.”
Judging by Goldman's smile on Monday, the experience was worth the wait. Even if she shouldn't have had to wait to begin with.
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