FIRST PLACE (Tie), Grades 4-6 Division, 2005
Grade 6, Murch Elementary
When I started playing baseball, I never thought of anything beyond the next game or practice. I didn’t know that I would end up being one of only a couple girls in my league or the only girl on my travel team. I didn’t think that I was making a point, or that I would have to work harder and harder as time wore on.
When I was five, I joined a baseball team just because I loved the game. I didn’t play for any other reason than my love of playing. And really, I still only play for the game. As I’ve gotten older though, I’ve seen consequences from my choice to play baseball. My travel team especially costs my parents money and has made my whole family have to change plans for my baseball schedule. But until I started writing this essay, I had never thought about the bigger consequences such as being an example for both girls and boys.
At first, several other girls played baseball. As they quit the game and I kept playing, I continued to think of myself as the same as any other baseball player. But I began to notice that often I would get more compliments or attention from adults. Other times, I felt that people underestimated me because I’m a girl. For example, I often asked my coach if he would watch me pitch. He was always busy and I think he assumed that I wasn’t strong enough. Then one day, almost by accident, he saw me pitch and decided to give me a chance. Now I’m the team’s pitcher.
As I’ve gotten older, I have had to work harder than the boys to keep my place on the team because boys become naturally stronger than girls. I know that I will have to work even harder if I want to keep on playing baseball, to be as strong as possible and to have the best technique. Even though my teammates treat me like any other player, I know that some people may not encourage a girl to play baseball. I hope I’ll always do things I really like, no matter what. I hope that a consequence of my playing baseball is that other girls won’t be intimidated and give up something they love, and that more boys and adults will see that girls can be competitive.