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Two women just made modern baseball history.

Women are playing ball with men, and it's about time.

Two women just made modern baseball history.

Kelsie Whitmore and Stacy Piagno are incredible baseball players.


They played on the same team during the 2015 Pan Am Games in Toronto when Piagno threw a no-hitter. Whitmore's only 17, and already well-known nationwide.

Therefore, what I'm about to say next shouldn't come as a surprise:

They're so good that professional minor league baseball team the Sonoma Stompers is signing both of them to the team.


But it is surprising.

This is a huge step forward for women in professional baseball.

Whitmore and Piagno will be the first women to play on a professional baseball team alongside men since Toni Stone, Mamie Johnson, and Constance Morgan played in the Negro leagues in the 1950s.

So how did this come to pass? Two reasons:

1. The Stompers are champs when it comes to taking that first step into uncharted modern professional baseball territory.


Last year Stompers pitcher Sean Conroy became the first openly gay professional baseball player.

2. Francis Ford Coppola, who used the power of his Sonoma-based winery to help recruit the women to the team:

“When watching Major League Baseball, I always wondered why there couldn’t be a co-ed team. It’s the one major sport in which weight and strength come less into play. So when my Sonoma winery became involved with the Stompers, I had the opportunity to turn this thought into a reality and recruit these amazing women capable of playing alongside men."

While Whitmore and Piagno's recruitment is notable, they won't be the first women to appear on a professional (read: men's) baseball team.

Back in the 1920s Lizzie "The Queen of Baseball" Murphy shattered that glass ceiling.

Photo via Wikipedia.

Murphy was actually the first person (not woman, person) to play for both baseball's National League and the American All-Star League. She was even inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Of course in the 1940s, America saw the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League become popular, but instances of co-ed ball-playing remained few and far between.

GIF from "A League of Their Own."

There's still a lot more work to be done before we see women playing in the major leagues.

“While many believe it’s only a matter of time before we see a woman playing in MLB, I’ve learned over the past several months that there are many steps in between where we are and where we should be in terms of women in this sport,” Sonoma GM Theo Fightmaster said in a statement.

“We hope this sends a message to the rest of the baseball world that there is room for women and girls in this game — from Little League to the Major Leagues.”

It's worth noting, too, that there aren't any rules preventing women from playing Major League Baseball. Several women are eligible, but so far, none have been signed. It's about time that changed.

As the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League song goes (emphasis mine):

Batter up! Hear that call!

The time has come for one and all

To play ball.


True

Davina Agudelo was born in Miami, Florida, but she grew up in Medellín, Colombia.

"I am so grateful for my upbringing in Colombia, surrounded by mountains and mango trees, and for my Colombian family," Agudelo says. "Colombia is the place where I learned what's truly essential in life." It's also where she found her passion for the arts.

While she was growing up, Colombia was going through a violent drug war, and Agudelo turned to literature, theater, singing, and creative writing as a refuge. "Journaling became a sacred practice, where I could leave on the page my dreams & longings as well as my joy and sadness," she says. "During those years, poetry came to me naturally. My grandfather was a poet and though I never met him, maybe there is a little bit of his love for poetry within me."

In 1998, when she left her home and everyone she loved and moved to California, the arts continued to be her solace and comfort. She got her bachelor's degree in theater arts before getting certified in journalism at UCLA. It was there she realized the need to create a media platform that highlighted the positive contributions of LatinX in the US.

"I know the power that storytelling and writing our own stories have and how creative writing can aid us in our own transformation."

In 2012, she started Alegría Magazine and it was a great success. Later, she refurbished a van into a mobile bookstore to celebrate Latin American and LatinX indie authors and poets, while also encouraging children's reading and writing in low-income communities across Southern California.

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via via Facebook/Julie Marburger

Teachers may be educating the future of America, but they are often underpaid, underappreciated, and overworked.

Julie Marburger, a sixth-grade teacher at Cedar Creek Intermediate School in Texas, went viral after she aired her frustrations with students, parents, and administrators on Facebook. The post was later deleted.

I left work early today after an incident with a parent left me unable emotionally to continue for the day. I have already made the decision to leave teaching at the end of this year, and today, I don't know if I will make it even that long. Parents have become far too disrespectful, and their children are even worse. Administration always seems to err on the side of keeping the parent happy, which leaves me with no way to do the job I was hired to do...teach kids.

I am including photos that I took in my classroom over the past two days. This is how my classroom regularly looks after my students spend all day there. Keep in mind that many of the items damaged or destroyed by my students are my personal possessions or I purchased myself, because I have NO classroom budget. I have finally had enough of the disregard for personal and school property and am drawing a line in the sand on a myriad of behaviors that I am through tolerating. Unfortunately, one parent today thought it was wrong of me to hold her son accountable for his behavior and decided to very rudely tell me so, in front of her son.

Marburger included these photos of her classroom in disarray, including torn up text books, broken bookshelves, and a piece of chewed-up gum stuck to a window.


via Facebook/Julie Marburger



via Facebook/Julie Marburger



via Facebook/Julie Marburger



via Facebook/Julie Marburger



via Facebook/Julie Marburger



via Facebook/Julie Marburger



via Facebook/Julie Marburger


Report cards come out later this week, and I have nearly half of my students failing due to multiple (8-10) missing assignments. Most of these students and their parents haven't seemed to care about this over the past three months, though weekly reports go out, emails have been sent and phone calls have been attempted.

But now I'm probably going to spend my entire week next week fielding calls and emails from irate parents, wanting to know why I failed their kid. My administrator will demand an explanation of why I let so many fail without giving them support, even though I've done practically everything short of doing the work for them. And behavior in my class will deteriorate even more. I am expecting this, because it is what has happened at the end of every other term thus far.

Marburger explained that it was her dream to be a teacher, but in just two short years, the job has beaten her down so much that she is ready to call it quits.

In the end, Marburger offered a little advice to parents:

People absolutely HAVE to stop coddling and enabling their children. It's a problem that's going to spread through our society like wildfire. It's not fair to society, and more importantly, is not fair to the children to teach them this is okay. It will not serve them towards a successful and happy life.

Many will say I shouldn't be posting such things on social media...that I should promote education and be positive. But I don't care anymore. Any passion for this work I once had has been wrung completely out of me. Maybe I can be the voice of reason. THIS HAS TO STOP.

Before it was deleted, Marburger's Facebook post was shared over 350,000 times, and garnered tons of support from fellow educators who sympathize with her position.

"This is exactly why my wife walked away from finishing her teaching degree. You'll have my respect if you take a stand and tell your administration that you aren't coming back tomorrow or ever again. Someone has to draw the line and start making the statement that spineless administrators are going to have to stop kissing entitled parents asses," wrote one person.

"I'm with you girl. You read my mind. I was in the exact same shoes yesterday. I left in tears too and most kids saw me. Many of them were sympathetic but some cheered and said they were happy i was leaving as I walked by crying. I, like you spend about 20 hours outside my contract time a week doing everything I can to be the best teacher possible and spend hundreds of dollars out of my own pocket every year to have the supplies I need to give these kids the best educational experience possible," posted another.

"I thought I could make it another 7 weeks," the posted continued. "But after yesterday I'm not sure. I'm taking today and tomorrow off to figure out my options. I'll keep you in my prayers. Please do the same for me!"