Friday, October 26, 2007

Look Who’s Cheering Now

There’s always that one person at work or in class who can tell you everything you could ever want to know about sports. They know how many homeruns San Diego Padres left fielder Barry Bonds hit this season, the number of strikeouts thrown by Red Sox pitcher Josh Beckett and that Ricky Henderson holds the career stolen bases record. And by the way, these are your female colleagues. That’s right, we’re taking over. From Wrigley Field to Dodger Stadium, female baseball fans can be found cheering and jeering along with the best of ‘em. Make-up has given way to face paint and jerseys have become fashion statements. It’s not just about how cute Cleveland Indians centerfielder Grady Sizemore is -- although it doesn’t hurt -- or how Yankee short stop Derek Jeter looks in his uniform. These are serious fans who know the game and the players. With the 2007 World Series underway, baseball season is at its peak.

Baseball merchandising companies are also recognizing this boom among women. The Boston Red Sox are perhaps the baseball team seeing the greatest surge in female fans. Many now sell “fitted” t-shirts and pink hats as a marketing strategy. Fitted tees I’m cool with. My personal favorite, available to men also, says “I Do It With My Sox On.” The pink hat however, a different story. Pink has long been a synonym for little girl. Despite the fact that I’m an opponent of the color in general, I don’t appreciate it that some merchandisers believe this is the only color for women. I thought the Babe’s Curse was bad, but this pink hat thing really bothers me. For the most part, retailers like the Yawkey Way Store and Chowdaheadz have an awesome selection for females. I guess it’s just a personal preference. I’m sorry that I don’t want the famous Boston Red Sox font in baby soft pink on a white tank top. I want a Jason Varitek jersey, maybe slightly fitted, in navy and red. I’m all for making baseball more female-friendly, but let’s not make it girlish. Wear the team colors proud and don the same gear as the guys with Dice-K painted on their beer bellies.

Aside from my beef with the hat situation, the good news is that the general New England area has seen such a tremendous increase in female sports enthusiasm. Sasha Talcott of The Boston Globe wrote an interesting article about how merchandisers and ballparks plan to continue appealing towards women.
As women flock to games, the Patriots and Red Sox are looking for ways to encourage them to make it a long-term habit. The Red Sox are considering giving them special access to the ballpark on certain nights, including the chance to take batting practice on the field and to listen to sports speakers. The Patriots have focused on making Gillette Stadium friendly to families, which increases its appeal to women, team officials said. is one of the greatest web sites developed in the past several years. Its Cosmopolitan meets ESPN. You can find everything from locker room gossip to stats. Although baseball is my soft spot, the web site offers articles on all sports from basketball to racing. Feel-good pieces in sections like Here Me Roar feature witty commentary mixed with feminism and sex appeal in a series of articles telling what it would be like if women ran the NFL. Maybe one day we will.

It’s good to see another area where females are in the forefront, but ladies do me a favor and leave the pink hats at home.

--Ashlie McEachern

1 comment:

Roni said...

Amen on the pink!