Now Bat Girling For The New York Yankees: Gwen Goldman!

In 1961, Gwen Goldman was a 10-year-old girl living on Green Acre Lane. She wrote the New York Yankees, asking to be a bat girl.

On June 23 — exactly 60 years and 4 days ago — general manager Roy Haney replied.

He thanked her for her letter. But, he said:

While we agree with you that girls are certainly as capable of boys, and no dobut would be an attractive addition to 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.

I don’t know how Haney was so sure Gwen would “understand.” But she overcame her disappointment — and, probably, many other gender-based barriers — and went on to spend more than 30 years as a social worker.

Now married, Gwen Goldman McLoughlin retired in 2017 from Stepping Stones Preschool. She was highly regarded by her Westport Public Schools colleagues.

The other day, Gwen got another letter from the Yankees.

This came from the general manager too — the current one. Dated June 23, 2021 — exactly 60 years to the day after his predecessor’s — Brian Cashman noted that he was born 6 years after Haney had written.

But, Cashman said:

Here at the Yankees, we have championed to break down gender barriers in our industry. It is an ongoing commitment rooted in the belief that a woman belongs everywhere a man does, including the dugout. And despite the fact that 6 decades have passed since you first aspired to hold down the position as a New York Yankees Bat Girl, it is not too late to reward and recognize the ambition you showed in writing that letter to us as a 10-year-old girl.

So — noting that he has a daughter himself, and acknowledging that “some dreams take longer than they should to be realized” — Cashman invited Goldman to be the Yankees’ “honorary bat girl for the day” for tomorrow’s (Monday) game against the Los Angeles Angels.

Goldman — whose daughter Abby had sent Haney’s letter to Cashman — was both stunned and thrilled by the invitation.

“It is my honor and my dream,” she said. “I will be there!”

Gwen Goldman McLoughlin gets the news she’ll be Yankees’ bat girl.

She’s not the only one excited by the honor. Pitcher Gerrit Cole says, “I only get to play 32 games a year. So the other 130, I’m working the dugout. I can show you all the sneaky routes and quick ways to get in, when you have to give the balls to the umpire, where you keep the bats in case their broken. I can help you out with the flow.”

Goldman’s star turn is the first for the Yanks’ HOPE (Helping Others Persevere and Excel) Week. For 12 years, the program has highlighted inspiring individual stories.

Speaking of inspiring: Click below for a great tweet from the Yankees.

EXTRA INNINGS: Because this is “06880” — “Where Westport meets the world” — there’s one more local connection to this story. I first heard about it from Julia Schorr, the team’s social media coordinator.

A lifelong Westporter, Julia graduated from Staples High School in 2016.

14 responses to “Now Bat Girling For The New York Yankees: Gwen Goldman!

  1. Bruce Fernie SHS 1970

    Great story!

  2. Fred Cantor

    I second Bruce’s emotion. Plus, I think Abby and Gwen should consider donating both letters to the Hall of Fame.

    Finally, this will probably come as no surprise to our friend and classmate Margaret H, but I still have my very nice letter from SF Giants president/owner Horace Stoneham responding to my letter in 1966 seeking assistance with buying tix at Candlestick Park.

  3. Brian J. Taylor

    Great story! Have to ask, who was she rooting for? Mantle or Maris

  4. Mark Yurkiw

    To paraphrase Margaret Mead – if you think one person can’t change the world, it’s the only way it ever happens.

  5. Sandra Rothenberg

    Wow! Great story!!

  6. Chuck Greenlee

    Class act!,

  7. Irene Mastriacovo

    Cheers to You Gwen! It certainly ain’t over til it’s over! Have fun!!

  8. I love this! Awesome story! 👏🏻👍🏻

  9. Wendy Crowther

    As a ten year old girl in a similar time period, I’d play backyard baseball with the neighborhood boys. I was an athletic kid and as good as any boy on the block. I even built a pitcher’s mound in my backyard by wheelbarrowing dirt I’d dug out of the woods behind my house to mold into the mound.

    I would go to the boys’ Little League games and watch from the stands, already feeling the inequity that a girl like me, with similar if not better baseball talents, was not allowed to play. I’d even imagine that not enough boys would show up to fill the day’s roster and they’d look to the stands and call me in. It never happened.

    I loved the Yankees too, and like Gwen, especially #7. Emulating Mantle, my specialty was first base but I could play any position. I went on to play softball on school teams but, back then, even school teams were merely recreational – no leagues, no championships to aspire to. Title IX wasn’t invented yet.

    I loved this story. Congratulations, Gwen, on your early dreams that have finally come true. Enjoy the journey. I’ll be with you vicariously.

  10. John D McCarthy

    May Gwen’s presence do something to wake up the Yankee offense.

    • John D McCarthy

      Need some late inning magic from Gwen, down 4-3 in the 7th on her big night.

  11. Rindy Higgins

    How great her wish came true even with decades in between. I think it was a Yankees thing. My mom, who would be 98 if she were alive today, was a full season bat girl for the Red Sox when she was in the age range of 10-12! Her dad (my granddad) was friends with Yawkey.

  12. Arline Beckoff

    Congratulations Gwen! It is wonderful to see that your dream has come true!
    You are amazing! Hugs, Arline