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Exhibition Baseball Americana

Bettye Lane, photographer. Little League Tryouts for Females, New Jersey. 1974. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress (034.00.00)

Girls Join Little League Baseball

When the national Little League office forced Maria Pepe (b. 1960) off her Hoboken, New Jersey, team in 1972, the brokenhearted eleven-year-old pitcher fought back. Soon engulfed by sex discrimination lawsuits from around the country, Little League officially permitted girls to join in 1974. By then Pepe had aged out of the league, but other girls from Hoboken, such as those in this photograph, were able to play. Thirty years later, Pepe threw out the first pitch to open the 2004 Little League Baseball World Series.