70-Year-Old Achieves Lifelong Dream Of Becoming Yankees' Batgirl

By Jason Hall

June 29, 2021

Los Angeles Angels v New York Yankees
Photo: Getty Images

A 70-year-old Connecticut woman got to live out her lifelong dream six decades after being turned away because of her gender.

Gwen Goldman, a retired social worker from Newton, served as the New York Yankees' honorary batgirl during their game against the Los Angeles Angels at Yankee Stadium on Monday (June 28) night.

"This is all real, this isn't a dream," Goldman said via NBC News. "I've never had such an amazing, overwhelming, wonderful feeling like this except probably when my children were born."

Goldman said she wrote a letter to the Yankees asking if she could be a batgirl when she was 10 years old and received a predictable of-the-era response from then-general manager Roy Hamey.

“While we agree with you that girls are certainly as capable as boys, and no doubt would be an attractive addition on the playing field, I am sure you can understand that it is a game dominated by men a young lady such as yourself would feel out of place in a dugout," Hamey wrote in a letter dated June 23, 1961, which Goldman kept to this day.

Goldman's daughter, Abby, notified the Yankees about her mother's rejection in 1961 and current general manager Brian Cashman said it was time to correct the team's mistake.

"Some dreams take longer than they should to be realized, but a goal attained should not dim with the passage of time,” Cashman wrote in a letter asking Goldman to be the Yankees' bat girl for Monday's game written on June 23. “I have a daughter myself, and it is my sincere hope that every girl be given the opportunity to follow her aspirations into the future.”

Goldman was given a locker with her name on it for Monday's game, threw out the ceremonial first pitch to Yankees utility man Tyler Wade and stood next to manager Aaron Boone during the national anthem.

Yankee Stadium also featured a video package telling Goldman's story between innings, which included the 1961 letter and a recent Zoom session she attended with Cashman, assistant general manager Jean Afterman and pitcher Gerrit Cole inviting her to serve as honorary batgirl for Monday's game.

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