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97-year-old lesbian baller Maybelle Blair on heaven, progress, and the Cubs

Author: John Casey

There’s a John Fogerty song from the 1980s, “Centerfield,” and the first line of the refrain is, “Oh, put me in, coach, I’m ready to play today!” At 97, Maybelle Blair is ready to play, in fact she might be at the top of her game.

But don’t think for a minute that Blair is ready to metaphorically pull out of the game. With an abundance of energy, and a mind sharper than a line-drive, she still has work to do. “Right now, I’m working my hardest to get a women’s baseball Hall of Fame in Rockford, Illinois. And it will be international, not only for women in the United States, but all over the world.”

“Look, we don’t need to be inducted into the guy’s Hall of Fame in Cooperstown because we don’t belong there. The exhibit that is there for us is wonderful, don’t get me wrong, but our Hall of Fame should be our own exhibit. Women, we understand each other, and we know we can’t compete with the men, so we need our own place for our own history. That is my dream.”

“By the way,” she added. “I hated Rockford when I played, because I played for the Peoria Redwings, and they were our rivals.”

Blair’s enthusiasm for the game has not waned since her days in Peoria. “Just standing down on the sidelines of Citi Field today just makes me so happy. You’re part of baseball. You get your feet down there on that ground and that turf, and you just realize how important baseball is in your life.”

I told Blair I felt the same way and joked with her that the Mets had just offered me a two year contract. “Well, I got my uniform on and I’m ready to sign up myself,” she replied.

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Original Article on The Advocate
Author: John Casey

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