Monday, February 6, 2012
If there’s a young woman out there who wants to be the first female pitcher in a men’s professional baseball league in the U.S., it’s too late. Ila Borders started out in college ball in California, where she had to deal with slashed tires, rude name-calling, and even attempts to hit her with the ball when she wasn’t looking. Nevertheless, Borders kept at it and eventually worked her way up to playing in the independent Northern League (equivalent to Class AA teams) for three years beginning in 1997, before retiring in 2000 from the Zion Pioneerz. A left-hander with a fast ball clocked in the low 80’s alongside a big curve and screwball, Borders won games and gave it her best shot despite all distractions -- which is what in-your-face women always do.