Maybelle Blair’s Impact on Women and LGBTQ+ in Baseball

Image credit: TIBRINA HOBSON/GETTY

Maybelle Blair, a pioneering baseball player, bravely shared her queer identity at age 95 in 2022, having kept it hidden for 75 to 85 years. In an interview with The Guardian, she spoke openly about her journey and emphasized the importance of acceptance and empowerment for women and LGBTQ+ individuals in sports.

Blair’s passion for baseball began early, inspired by watching her brother and father play while she kept score on the sidelines. She founded an all-girls softball league in fifth grade, marking the start of her dedication to the sport. Despite facing societal challenges, she pursued her education and eventually joined the workforce at Northrop Corporation, where she made significant strides in a male-dominated industry.

During World War II, Blair played a key role in forming the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League in 1943, alongside 600 other women. Their initiative ensured baseball continued thriving while men were away at war, later inspiring the film “A League of Their Own.”

Throughout her life, Blair has remained actively involved in preserving the league’s legacy. She served on the Board of Directors and chaired the Fundraising Committee of the AAGPBL Players Association. Her efforts contributed to the establishment of a permanent exhibit at the Baseball Hall of Fame, honoring women’s contributions to the sport.

Blair co-founded the International Women’s Baseball Center, dedicated to educating and celebrating women’s impact in baseball, particularly through the story of the Rockford Peaches, a team she played for. Even at 97 years old, she continues her advocacy for inclusivity in sports, striving to create spaces where LGBTQIA+ individuals and other marginalized groups feel welcome.

Her decision to publicly come out during the promotion of “A League of Their Own” on Amazon Prime marked a significant moment in her life. Blair hopes her revelation will inspire others and contribute to a more accepting sports community. She remains resolute in her mission to ensure that everyone, regardless of identity, finds a place in the world of baseball.

“I believe they deserve their own place in baseball. I still have a few things to accomplish before I’m gone,” Blair shared with The Guardian, reflecting her unwavering determination and commitment to equality in sports.

Re-reported from the article originally published in She the People.

Maybelle Blair’s Impact on Women and LGBTQ+ in Baseball

Image credit: TIBRINA HOBSON/GETTY

Maybelle Blair, a pioneering baseball player, bravely shared her queer identity at age 95 in 2022, having kept it hidden for 75 to 85 years. In an interview with The Guardian, she spoke openly about her journey and emphasized the importance of acceptance and empowerment for women and LGBTQ+ individuals in sports.

Blair’s passion for baseball began early, inspired by watching her brother and father play while she kept score on the sidelines. She founded an all-girls softball league in fifth grade, marking the start of her dedication to the sport. Despite facing societal challenges, she pursued her education and eventually joined the workforce at Northrop Corporation, where she made significant strides in a male-dominated industry.

During World War II, Blair played a key role in forming the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League in 1943, alongside 600 other women. Their initiative ensured baseball continued thriving while men were away at war, later inspiring the film “A League of Their Own.”

Throughout her life, Blair has remained actively involved in preserving the league’s legacy. She served on the Board of Directors and chaired the Fundraising Committee of the AAGPBL Players Association. Her efforts contributed to the establishment of a permanent exhibit at the Baseball Hall of Fame, honoring women’s contributions to the sport.

Blair co-founded the International Women’s Baseball Center, dedicated to educating and celebrating women’s impact in baseball, particularly through the story of the Rockford Peaches, a team she played for. Even at 97 years old, she continues her advocacy for inclusivity in sports, striving to create spaces where LGBTQIA+ individuals and other marginalized groups feel welcome.

Her decision to publicly come out during the promotion of “A League of Their Own” on Amazon Prime marked a significant moment in her life. Blair hopes her revelation will inspire others and contribute to a more accepting sports community. She remains resolute in her mission to ensure that everyone, regardless of identity, finds a place in the world of baseball.

“I believe they deserve their own place in baseball. I still have a few things to accomplish before I’m gone,” Blair shared with The Guardian, reflecting her unwavering determination and commitment to equality in sports.

Re-reported from the article originally published in She the People.