When Gwen Goldman was 10 years old, she had a dream: to be a bat girl for the New York Yankees. She wanted it so much that she wrote a letter to the team and waited for a response, hopes high. While she did receive a reply from the Major League Baseball team, it was not the one she had wished for.
“While we agree with you that girls are certainly as capable as boys,” wrote Yankees general manager Roy Hamey, “and no doubt would be an attractive addition on the playing field, I am sure you can understand that it is a game dominated by men a young lady such as yourself would feel out of place in a dugout.”
Disheartened but not deterred, Goldman hung the letter on her living room wall because she still loved the team so much. She also admitted, as reported by People,that it was her way to hold on to that dream. Perhaps her notion of holding on was a powerful one because 60 years to the date of that first letter, the Yankees wrote her another note.
You can see photos of both letters in this New York Yankees Twitter post.
60 years later, in a new letter to Gwen from the current Yankees GM, Brian Cashman invites her to Yankee Stadium to fulfill her dream. pic.twitter.com/FHZK3SIfe5
— New York Yankees (@Yankees) June 25, 2021
In 2017, Goldman retired as a public school preschool teacher in Westport, Connecticut.
Current Yankees general manager Brian Cashman invited Goldman to a Zoom call after receiving an email written by her daughter, Abby. On the call, he read his letter to her.
“Although your long-ago correspondence took place 60 years ago (six years before I was born),” Cashman wrote, “I feel compelled to resurrect your original request and do what I can to bring your childhood dream to life.”
He went on to say that the team champions breaking down gender barriers in the industry, believing that women belong everywhere men do. and invited her to serve as honorary bat girl.
“It is my honor and my dream,” Goldman replied, visibly overcome with emotion, “and I can’t thank you enough for making this come true.”
On Monday, June 28, Goldman threw out a ceremonial first pitch dressed in a full Yankees uniform. It happened at a game against the Los Angeles Angels, as part of the team’s HOPE (Helping Others Persevere & Excel) Week initiative. The team highlights a different individual, family or organization worthy of recognition and support every day of HOPE Week.
Here’s a tweet from the team showing a video of the pitch:
— New York Yankees (@Yankees) June 28, 2021
“It was a thrill of a lifetime — times a million,” Goldman said in a mid-game news conference reported by the AP. “And I actually got to be out in the dugout, too. I threw out a ball, I met the players. Yeah, it goes on and on. They had set up a day for me that is something that I never would have expected.”