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October 16, 2010


Leagues of Their Own

by Christina Kahrl

Much of this post is going to be a PSA of sorts, but let me introduce it with a little bit of background. While going to the Winter Meetings in Indianapolis last year was cool enough, one of the many great things to come out of it was getting to meet one of the truly inspiring people in the sport today, Justine Siegal. If that name sounds familiar, it's because you came across Justine on this site last November, when David Laurila interviewed her about her experiences coaching men for the Brockton Rox, The former first-base coach  is now the moving force behind Baseball For All, and her latest project is to help get girls' hardball leagues set up around the country. Justine's coming to Chicago next week to conduct a clinic for girls in Northbrook, and while I suspect that if you're a parent in Chicagoland and your daughter wants to play, you already know about this. If you don't already know, though, here's the info, and by all means, check it out, because the game's greatness shouldn't belong to just one set of folks:




All-Girls Baseball Clinic Features Only Female College and Professional Baseball Coach

(Northbrook, Illinois) One of the Chicago area’s oldest and most successful youth baseball organizations
plans to offer several girls-only baseball (YES, BASEBALL) divisions for the 2011 season. Travel Ball North
Shore (www.travelballnorthshore.com) plans are to have a nine/10, 11/12 and 13/14 division for the
upcoming year. The league is hosting an all-girls baseball clinic from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm on Sunday,
October 24 at the Glenbrook Sports Academy in Northbrook, IL.

To launch this program, the league is bringing Justine Siegal as lead clinician. Siegal is the
Founder and Executive Director of Baseball For All (BFA) and the first woman to coach first base in men’s
professional baseball (Brockton Rox, 2009). She spent 3 years as the only female assistant college
baseball coach (Springfield College, MA). Siegal is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Sport Psychology at
Springfield College (MA). Justine’s dream of baseball for all has been reported in hundreds of media
outlets including, USA Today, ESPN, MLB, and NBC. Eight years ago, Siegal organized the first 12U girls’
team to play at Dreams Park in Cooperstown, NY and has continued to do so every year since. She has
organized two international girls baseball academies (2007 and 2010); showcased two 13U girls’ team at
the National Youth Baseball Championship in Memphis this past August and organized a 16U girls team
that played a three game series in Kenosha, Wisconsin against a visiting girls team from Australia.

Joining Siegal is BFA Board member, John Kovach, pitching coach at Holy Cross College (Notre
Dame, IN). He has coached baseball for 32 yrs and serves as an assistant coach in Baseball For All’s
12U/13U/16U girls baseball programs. Kovach has organized baseball clinics in Florida, Indiana, Illinois
and Michigan and in 2007, co-authored Women’s Sports Foundation’s Position Paper on differences
between Baseball and Softball. He has served as a consultant in over 70 cases involving girls who had
been discriminated against in their choice to play baseball. Kovach has three daughters and all have
played baseball.

Kovach and Siegal will be assisted by several players from the Chicago Women’s Baseball League.

“This is an idea whose time has come and I’m very excited,” said board member Steve
Rushing. “There are many girls who would like to play baseball, but never get the opportunity to do so

on an all-girls team. For the past several years, we have had the Chicago Pioneers (an all-girls team)
playing in the boys division. With the demographics in our area, there’s no reason to doubt that an all
girls league could be very successful,” he went on to add.

Cost of the girls clinic is $25. To reserve you spot at the clinic call 847-612-3775 or email:
serbraves@gmail.com. Direction to the Glenbrook Sports Academy can be found at: http://

Christina Kahrl is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
Click here to see Christina's other articles. You can contact Christina by clicking here

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