By Johanna Kaiser, Communications & Development Associate

Spring is finally here after a long a brutal winter. For many, that doesn’t just mean longer days and a warmer breezes; it means baseball. But not that long ago, not every child was welcome to take part in America’s favorite pastime.

In the spring of 1974, a 10-year Pawtucket resident Allison Fortin tried sign up for her local little league team only to be told she was not allowed to play. Why? She was a girl.

The local Little League told her and her father that the national organization had a boys-only policy. Little girls, after all, could get hurt playing with the boys. (Just don’t tell that to Mo’ne Davis)

The Fortins worked with the ACLU of Rhode Island to file a lawsuit to stop this sex discrimination and, in 1975, as court decisions across the country were opening up Little League teams to girls, an appeals court ruled in our case that the league’s ban on girls was unconstitutional. 

Now, 40 years after the league abandoned ridiculous stereotypes about women, thousands of young girls across the county will stp up to the plate this spring and show that they have what it takes to play.