This summer, we received a very cheerful note from 2017 New Play Festival featured playwright Maya Schindler and her family recounting the amazing experience Maya had in Rockford, IL for the Baseball For All National Girls Tournament! There, she was invited to talk at the opening ceremonies about the New Play Festival production of her inspiring play I Got This! and shared her experience as a baseball player and playwright with girls baseball teams from all over the country. In her own words, Maya discusses her trip to Rockford and the incredible experience at the Baseball for All National Girls’ Tournament.
Last year, I was fortunate to be able to participate in Young Playwright’s Theater’s After School Program, where I wrote a play called I Got This. My play told the story of a girl who perseveres to continue playing baseball–not softball–from the time she was a young girl all the way through college, despite being told that she shouldn’t be playing baseball because she is a girl. This isn’t unusual. Many girls are discouraged from playing baseball, and often they are directed to play softball instead.
I was also very lucky in that my play was selected for the 2017 New Play Festival, where it was performed by professional actors. That was a big honor for me and very exciting!
More recently, I played in the Baseball For All National Girls Tournament with my teammates from D.C. Girl’s Baseball’s DC Force. The tournament was 200 girls coming together from across the country and Canada in historic Rockford, Illinois (the home of the Rockford Peaches, who became famous in the movie A League of Their Own). We were there to simply play the game we love. Yet it was so much more than that. We met girls who were going through the same thing as us, showing that we are not alone and we have the right to play this game.
While at the National Girls Tournament I also had the honor to meet some of the incredible women who played in the All American Girls Professional Baseball League (AAGPBL) including Maybelle Blair. In Rockford, I felt like we were playing for them, which was our way of thanking them for all they had done for girls baseball; if it weren’t for them some of us may have never even touched a baseball, let alone be playing baseball.
One of my favorite moments from the tournament was before one of our games, we were watching Canada 150 play the Boston Slammers and Canada was way behind. A big part of this tournament and I Got This! was encouraging girls to play baseball and for them to keep their heads up, despite what challenges they might face. As we were watching the game alongside our opponents in the next game, the Caminos, we came together and cheered for Canada… together. Personally, this was a very beautiful and humane moment because it shows that baseball brings people together, people who don’t even know each other.
Since the tournament, my team has been recognized in articles in The Washington Post and Yahoo Sports, and we received invitations to appear on the field at home games of the Washington Nationals and also the Bowie Baysox. I hope that people who hear about the Baseball for All tournament and DC Girls Baseball will agree that girls should have the same opportunity as boys to pursue our dreams, whether as baseball players, playwrights or anything else we want to do.
We thank Maya for sharing her wonderful story! To learn more about the Baseball for All National Girls Tournament, visit www.baseballforall.com.
To learn about DC Girls Baseball visit dcgirlsbaseball.com.