October 22, 2018

"Playing Baseball Is A Pastime The Effect Of Which Upon Young Ladies Is The Reverse Of Desirable" (New York Evening World, 1890)


Why Young Women Should Be Only Spectators of the National Game.

The formation of two baseball nines among the girl students of Fort Edward Institute is a novel expression of a popular infatuation over the "national game," so-called, says the Troy Press. Whether baseball is a national game or not, we should say it was an essentially masculine game, and therefore not adapted to improve the lively and lovely lissome institute girls who are just now making a "fad" of it.

Indeed, playing baseball is a pastime the effect of which upon young ladies is the reverse of desirable. It will make them sunburned, large-wristed and coarse-handed, and instead of imparting added charms will be likely to entail serious and chronic physical detriment. Instead of being invigorating exercise for ladies, it involves an incessant over-doing destructive to the delicate and susceptible feminine frame.

A girl's soft, rounded and beautiful flesh is also more grossly disfigured by the accidents inseparable from baseball. Who could view a pretty institute girl, with her nose purple and discolored, and swollen to twice its original size, without having his bosom heave and heart throb with pain and pity? Verily, it would be a harrowing and heart-rendering spectacle.

And it would make a sensitive individual gloomy for a fortnight to see a baseball girl's slender and shapely finger, beauty-tipped with a round pink nail, broken, limp and bleeding, and amputated by a horrid surgeon. No sweet girl graduate would care to be nicknamed "Three-Fingered Susan."

No, baseball is not a feminine sport. It is adapted for male athletes. Very likely, however, the dear Fort Edward girls only caricature the game at best. They are not so silly as to play baseball in dead earnest.

New York Evening World, May 2, 1890

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