"Under One Banner": The World Baseball Softball Confederation and the Gendered Politics of Olympic Participation

Page created by Joanne Sharp
Sport History Review, 2020, 51, 125–144
© 2020 Human Kinetics, Inc.                                               SCHOLARLY ARTICLE

 “Under One Banner”: The World Baseball
 Softball Confederation and the Gendered
     Politics of Olympic Participation
                                Callie Batts Maddox
                                     Miami University

     In 2020, baseball and softball will return to the Olympics after a twelve-year
     absence. Leading the effort to secure reinstatement was the World Baseball
     Softball Confederation (WBSC), the international governing body for the two
     sports established in 2013 upon the merging of the International Baseball
     Federation and the International Softball Federation. Faced with continual threats
     of Olympic exclusion, the WBSC offers a unique model of global governance in
     that one federation is in charge of two very different sports. The history and work
     of the WBSC is made more complicated by the gendered bifurcation of baseball
     and softball, and systemic cultural beliefs that mark baseball as male and softball
     as female. Utilizing this gendered tension as a guiding framework, this article
     traces the emergence of the WBSC and suggests that the global governance of two
     sports under the single banner of the WBSC risks reproducing long-standing
     gender stereotypes and assumptions.

     Keywords: gender, governance, Olympics

     In late July 2020, baseball and softball will make their return to the Olympic
program after a twelve-year absence. Hopes are high that the popularity of both
sports in Japan will lead to a successful showing in Tokyo and justify the
International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) decision to reinstate both disciplines
after their removal following the 2008 Beijing Games. While baseball and softball
face an uncertain future as Olympic sports—they have not been recommended for
the 2024 program in Paris, but remain in contention for 2028 in Los Angeles—
advocates are building support through rigorous global development programs and
marketing campaigns. Leading these efforts is the World Baseball Softball
Confederation (WBSC), the international governing body for both baseball and
softball established in 2013 upon the formal merging of the International Baseball
Federation (IBAF) and the International Softball Federation (ISF).1
     Faced with the crisis of Olympic exclusion, the IBAF and ISF decided to
merge into one entity to better the chances of gaining reinstatement by submitting a

The author is with the Department of Kinesiology and Health, Miami University, Oxford, OH, USA.
Address author correspondence to Callie Batts Maddox at maddoxce@miamioh.edu.

                                                    Unauthenticated | Downloaded 09/06/21 12:24 PM UTC
126    Maddox

unified bid to the IOC. The creation of the WBSC was the result of nearly six years
of negotiations, proposals, and pleas between the IBAF and ISF, an untidy process
that revealed schisms in the ways that each organization approached its sport and
envisioned its future. As a response to the challenge and threat of Olympic
exclusion, the WBSC offers a unique model of international governance in which
two different sports are represented by one federation.
     The history of the WBSC is made more complicated by an underlying tension
grounded in gendered assumptions about who plays baseball and who plays
softball. While not often acknowledged, it is important to note that the sports
returning to the Olympic program will be men’s baseball and women’s fast-pitch
softball. Men play fast-pitch softball and women play baseball, both with growing
global appeal and histories of international competition. Yet neither men’s softball
nor women’s baseball were considered for Olympic inclusion in 2020. There are
gender politics at play here, rooted in the gendered constructions of each sport and
the lingering cultural misperception that softball is simply the female equivalent
of baseball. These are two fundamentally different sports—with superficial
similarities—so their international governance under the single banner of the
WBSC raises questions about gender equality, the provision of resources, and
commitment to Olympic participation. By taking control of both sports, the WBSC
risks reproducing the equivalency argument that has marginalized both women’s
baseball and men’s softball for decades by suggesting that the two sports are
essentially the same but divided along gender lines.
     After providing a brief history of both sports and noting the development of
gendered connotations associated with each, this article traces the emergence of the
WBSC out of the long struggles of the IBAF and the ISF to secure Olympic
inclusion. Included in this narrative is an account of the short-lived International
Confederation of Amateur Baseball/Softball, a merger attempt in the mid-1980s
that secured an Olympic slot for baseball as a full medal sport in 1992, but failed to
do the same for softball. The Confederation dissolved in 1989, but the ISF
succeeded in gaining Olympic status for softball for the 1996 Games. In 2005,
the IOC voted to remove both sports from the Olympic program. In response, the
IBAF and ISF attempted to mount independent campaigns that included women’s
baseball and men’s softball, a strategy that challenged the long-standing gendered
constructs of each sport. When these efforts failed, the two federations decided to
unite, establish the WBSC as a single governing body, and return to promoting
only men’s baseball and women’s softball for Olympic inclusion. Yet it remains to
be seen if this approach to international organization and governance will prove
successful beyond the 2020 Olympic Games.

       Baseball and Softball: Siblings or Cousins?
Contrary to what many Americans still believe, baseball was not invented by
Abner Doubleday on a summer day in 1839 in the idyllic village of Cooperstown,
New York.2 This origin story, although compelling in its simplicity and purity, is a
popular myth that continues to circulate within the American imagination and
obscure the more complex roots of the game. Baseball evolved from a variety of
stick and ball games played in England and the United States in the eighteenth and

                              SHR Vol. 51, No. 1, 2020
                                               Unauthenticated | Downloaded 09/06/21 12:24 PM UTC
Under One Banner       127

nineteenth centuries, including stool ball, cricket, and rounders. Variations on
these games were known as the “New York” and “New England” game, which had
different rules and regulations, but formed the foundation for the eventual
codification of baseball.3 The first organized baseball team was the Knickerbocker
Base Ball Club of New York, formed in 1845 under the leadership of Alexander
Cartwright. The club is credited with playing the “first official game of baseball” at
Elysian Fields in Hoboken on June 19, 1846, against a squad known as the New
York Base Ball Club.4 The Knickerbockers also helped to establish standardized
rules, including the number of players on a team, field dimensions, batting in
rotation, and throwing runners out at a base instead of pelting them with the ball.
     Baseball gained popularity and spread rapidly across the United States in the
1860s, appealing to both men and women. Professional baseball started to blossom
in 1869, as the Cincinnati Red Stockings paid its ten club members a total of $9,300
in salaries for the season.5 In 1876, the National League was formed with eight
charter members. The American League followed in 1901, and a formal relation-
ship between the two leagues began in 1903, thus setting the structure for organized
men’s professional baseball in the United States that operates under the auspices of
Major League Baseball.6 The game started to globalize in the 1870s, as it spread
to such countries as Australia, Cuba, and Japan via educators, missionaries, and
international tours organized by American administrators.7 Women were also
involved in the game from the outset, as students at all-female colleges formed
teams as early as 1866. Barnstorming teams known as Bloomer Girls flourished
from the 1890s until the 1930s, and the All-American Girls Professional Baseball
League (AAGPBL) offered women the chance to play professionally from 1943
until its demise in 1954.8
     It is also important to note the implications of race and social class in the
history of baseball in the United States, as the professional game came to reflect a
“white middle-class masculine consciousness” and increasingly became linked to
American civic identity and imperialism.9 The segregation of the Jim Crow era
excluded African American players from organized professional baseball and
prompted the creation of the Negro Leagues, which gradually folded after Jackie
Robinson broke the color barrier in 1947. The AAGPBL did not welcome African
American women, but three women—Connie Morgan, Mamie “Peanut” Johnson,
and Toni Stone—played in the Negro Leagues in the early 1950s. A handful of
light-skinned Latina women from Cuba found success in the AAGPBL, but the
league propagated normative ideals of white femininity by emphasizing the
players’ physical appearance and restrained social behavior.10 Latino ballplayers,
as Adrian Burgos contends, were “used to test the limits of racial tolerance and to
locate the exclusionary point along the color line” through their performances in
both the Negro Leagues and Major League Baseball and their racialization as
nonwhite Others.11 This history of segregation and exclusion along racial, class,
and gender lines is significant because of the “symbolic centrality” of baseball in
American culture, a positioning that serves to reinforce the norms of white,
heterosexual masculinity and marginalize all others who want to play the game.12
     The origins of softball are far less dependent on national mythology than those
of baseball. The invention of softball is widely credited to George W. Hancock, a
reporter for the Chicago Board of Trade who gathered with a group of friends in the
gymnasium of the Farragut Boat Club on Thanksgiving Day in 1887 to follow

                              SHR Vol. 51, No. 1, 2020
                                              Unauthenticated | Downloaded 09/06/21 12:24 PM UTC
128    Maddox

updates from the Harvard–Yale football game taking place that day. The friends set
about whacking a boxing glove around with a broom handle, which gave Hancock
the idea to devise a modified version of baseball for indoor play. Originally called
“indoor baseball,” this early version of softball used a larger and softer ball, a
lighter bat, and a smaller diamond. Intended for play inside a gym, the game
attracted men looking for a way to play baseball during the frigid winter months.13
By 1891, there were twenty leagues and more than one hundred organized indoor
baseball clubs in Chicago alone. Such was the popularity of the game that it soon
became known as “the sport of gentlemen” in Chicago.14
     The game caught on elsewhere in the United States, first, in other Midwestern
cities, such as Minneapolis and St. Louis, and later, in the large metropolitan areas
of Boston and New York. As it spread, the game was governed by different rules in
different locales and called a variety of names, including kitten ball, pumpkin ball,
mush ball, twilight ball, and playground ball. In 1908, a group of men representing
various sport and educational organizations in the greater Chicago area established
the National Amateur Playground Ball Association of the United States to provide
“national representation, a printed official handbook, plans for inter-city competi-
tion and great hopes for future growth” of the game, but the rules still differed
widely across the country.15 A move toward standardization came in 1923 at a
meeting of the National Recreation Congress, when a special committee created a
common set of regulations governing game play, ball size, bat length, and field
dimensions.16 In 1933, Leo Fischer, a Chicago sportswriter, and Michael J. Pauley,
a sporting goods salesman, promoted a national tournament held in conjunction
with the Chicago World’s Fair. A total of fifty-five teams participated in the
tournament, split across the three divisions of “fast ballers, slow pitchers, and
women’s.”17 The name “softball” was officially adopted later that year upon the
formation of the Amateur Softball Association (ASA), which published one set of
overarching rules and took on the responsibility of guiding the development of the
game in its new standardized form.18
     The “last gasp” for indoor baseball occurred in 1939 when the National
Professional Indoor Baseball League launched with franchises in Boston, Brook-
lyn, Chicago, Cincinnati, Cleveland, New York, Philadelphia, and St. Louis.
Although a handful of former Major League baseball players were involved in the
league, including Tris Speaker and Bill Wambsganss, it failed to attract ample fan
interest and folded after only one month of play.19 By this point, indoor baseball
had found its way outside, and the ASA was promoting softball as a game for
everyone—men, women, young, and old.
     The relationship between baseball and softball is certainly a familial one, but
opinions differ on whether the two sports are siblings or distant cousins. An article
in the Pioneer Press of St. Paul, Minnesota, in 1915 described outdoor kitten ball
as “a first cousin to the great American sport and half-brother to the indoor
baseball,” noting the surface similarities that the games share—similar rules,
equipment, pitch design, and skills.20 In his book about the history of softball,
Arthur Noren comments that “baseball and softball are brothers under the skin, yet
despite the family resemblance, they are decidedly different in certain important
phases,” notably the size of the ball and bat, pitching distance, size of the field,
pitching style, and game play strategies.21 Underpinning the nature of this
relationship is the question of gender. Women have played baseball since the

                              SHR Vol. 51, No. 1, 2020
                                               Unauthenticated | Downloaded 09/06/21 12:24 PM UTC
Under One Banner       129

nineteenth century, and softball was largely a men’s game in its early years, but
more recent assumptions about these sports often flip those gendered labels and
assume that baseball is for men and softball is for women. This misperception
has informed the global organization and governance of both sports, including
the efforts of the IBAF, ISF, and WBSC to secure Olympic participation, and
continues to contribute to the disregard of women’s baseball and men’s softball.

Gendered Framings and the Equivalence Argument
In 1911, Albert Spalding published America’s National Game, an account of
baseball history drawn largely from his experiences as an influential player and
administrator. Early in the book, he makes a strong statement about who should
play the game:
    But neither our wives, our sisters, our daughters, nor our sweethearts, may
    play Base Ball on the field. They may play Cricket, but seldom do; they may
    play Lawn Tennis, and win championships; they may play Basket Ball, and
    achieve laurels; they may play Golf, and receive trophies; but Base Ball is too
    strenuous for womankind.22
Spalding’s contention echoed dominant norms of white, middle-class femininity
circulating in the United States at the time, as women’s participation in sport was
limited to those games and activities deemed suitable for the supposedly weaker
and more delicate female body. Yet he also ignored the involvement of women in
baseball in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, evidenced by play at
colleges and universities, touring Bloomer Girl teams, and the success of female
ballplayers such as Alta Weiss, who pitched for a semipro men’s team starting in
1907 and enjoyed a fifteen-year playing career.23
     Despite women’s presence in the game, prevailing gender norms and the
push to link baseball with American national identity came to define baseball as a
male endeavor. The transformation of baseball “from a mere pastime to an
important cultural (and patriarchal) symbol” necessitated its presentation as
completely masculine.24 As softball’s visibility and popularity began to spread,
it was offered as an alternative form of baseball, more suitable for girls and
women. A key turning point was the publication of Gladys Palmer’s Baseball for
Girls and Women in 1929, a handbook outlining modified baseball rules for girls.
In the book, Palmer notes that baseball is not an appropriate sport for girls and
women because the techniques are “too difficult for the average girl to master,”
the throwing distances are too great, females require a “less strenuous game,” and
the chances of getting injured by the small, hard ball are “unnecessarily great.”25
Palmer’s new rules, including shorter base paths and underhand pitching, were
accepted by physical educators at the 1927 meeting of the National Committee on
Women’s Athletics, thus, promoting softball as the proper bat and ball game
for girls.26
     Another important development was the creation of Little League Baseball in
1939. This network of youth baseball leagues, open only to boys, was established
to foster the values of “citizenship, sportsmanship, and manhood.”27 Girls were not
legally allowed to play Little League baseball until 1974, following a lawsuit filed

                             SHR Vol. 51, No. 1, 2020
                                              Unauthenticated | Downloaded 09/06/21 12:24 PM UTC
130     Maddox

by the National Organization for Women.28 In response, Little League Baseball
created Little League Softball to offer girls the opportunity to play organized youth
softball. Rather than build leagues for girls’ baseball and boys’ softball or actively
encourage girls and boys to choose whichever sport they preferred, Little League
reinforced the gendered division of each sport and “cemented the post-Title IX
segregated masculinity of baseball.”29 Legal barriers were thus supplanted by a
sustained cultural conditioning that perpetuated the belief that baseball was a male
sport and girls and women should play softball instead.
     Baseball and softball are just games, and neither is intrinsically more
feminine or masculine than the other. In its beginnings, softball was a sport
associated with men, but it eventually took on a feminized character when offered
as the female equivalent to baseball. In Softball, a book published in 1940 that
focuses on the men’s game, Arthur Noren writes just two pages about the
women’s game, yet manages to deepen the gendered divide between baseball and
      The difference in the size of the playing field also helps immeasurably in
      making the game suitable for women. In baseball the long throws from third
      base to first, from home-plate to second base and from the outfield to the plate
      are far too much for the average girl athlete. They demand power—and the fair
      sex is not naturally powerful, that is, physically.30
Noren goes on to explain that softball is a game for both men and women, and the
women who play have added “grace and charm” to the game while playing “well
enough to compare favorably with many men’s teams.”31
      Similar sentiments appear in books about softball by Viola Mitchell and
Morris Bealle. In her book aimed at girls, Mitchell advises against sliding because
“it is difficult and complicated to do and is rather dangerous,” even though sliding
is a common technique for boys and men.32 Girls were also expected to watch their
language on the diamond and resist the “name calling type of conduct frequently
heard at men’s games.”33 Bealle expresses admiration for the “great athletic
proficiency attained by these top flight girl softball players,” but then belittles
their skill by asserting that “many of them could enter any beauty contest in the
land and finish in the upper brackets” because athletic training “tends to increase
the beauty of a girl.”34
      By the 1950s, softball was widely accepted as the female equivalent of
baseball and imbued with dominant notions of femininity. Throughout the 1940s,
the ASA sponsored a beauty contest in tandem with the annual championship
tournament to counteract stereotypes that women softball players were unfeminine.
The winner was crowned Miss Softball of America, but there was no equivalent
contest to name a Mister Softball.35 The circuit of company-sponsored teams that
flourished during this time promoted the sport by touting the players’ beauty and
adopting form-fitting uniforms that consisted of shorts and tight “shirt-leotard
hybrids” made of shiny satin.36 Press coverage of these softball players often
focused on domestic tasks expected of women instead of their sporting achieve-
ments, with some articles reporting that they “stayed fit by dusting the house” and
killed time in the dugout by darning their husbands’ socks.37 The image of softball,
similar to baseball but played on a smaller field with a larger ball and underhand

                              SHR Vol. 51, No. 1, 2020
                                               Unauthenticated | Downloaded 09/06/21 12:24 PM UTC
Under One Banner       131

pitching, fit nicely with norms that deemed the female body to be weaker and less
physically capable than the male body.
     Even the post-Title IX ascendance of fast-pitch softball as a major high school
and collegiate sport for women—in which the top pitchers can throw the ball at
speeds equivalent to that of a professional baseball pitcher—has done little to
mitigate the expectations of normative, white femininity. A common quip among
fast-pitch softball players is “no bow, lesbo,” a judgment that pressures both
straight and lesbian athletes to conform to heterosexual feminine norms by wearing
bows in their (assumed to be long) hair.38
     Women and men continue to play both fast- and slow-pitch softball, but the
discipline of fast-pitch is now widely identified as a female sport and the “gendered
bifurcation of baseball and softball” is rarely questioned or challenged.39 This
bifurcation erases the history of both men’s softball and women’s baseball, and it
also feeds the dogged misperception that softball is the female equivalent to
baseball. In her work on women’s baseball, Jennifer Ring argues that “softball
occupies a sort of parallel universe” that precludes the choice for girls and women
to play baseball.40 This feminized framing of softball also functions to exclude
boys and men, and marginalize those men who do choose to play fast-pitch softball
at the elite level.

              Baseball and Softball Governance
The gendered bifurcation of baseball and softball, and the persistence of the
equivalence argument, has caused a measure of confusion in the global governance
of each sport. The IOC is responsible for recognizing one international federation
(IF) per sport, but what counts as a singular “sport” is open to interpretation
because certain federations control several sports, also called disciplines in the
language of the IOC. For example, the International Cycling Union supervises road
and track cycling, as well as mountain biking and BMX, all of which are distinct
Olympic disciplines. The International Skating Union oversees figure skating,
speed skating, and short track, all included on the winter Olympic program, yet
very different sports. Prior to the formation of the WBSC, independent federations
governed baseball and softball, a structure that left some within the Olympic world
perplexed due to the gendered framing of the two sports. In their examination of
the Olympic system and world sport governance, Chappelet and Kübler-Mabbott
offer a revealing observation in noting, “there are two separate IFs for baseball and
softball, which are basically the same sport for men and women respectively.”41
What Chappelet and Kübler-Mabbott fail to realize—and they are not the only
ones—is that softball is not merely the female equivalent of baseball. These
are not “basically the same sport,” simply divided by gender. However, the past
and current governance of baseball and softball has largely reinforced that

The International Baseball Federation
Preliminary efforts to establish an international governing body for baseball
occurred in 1936 during the Berlin Olympic Games. Leslie Mann, who led the

                              SHR Vol. 51, No. 1, 2020
                                               Unauthenticated | Downloaded 09/06/21 12:24 PM UTC
132     Maddox

efforts to organize the exhibition baseball match during the Games, reported
receiving interest in the formation of an “International Baseball Congress” from
seventeen countries.42 In the official proceedings of the Games published by the
American Olympic Committee, Mann predicted that baseball “is headed for
world-wide play and competition ending on the Olympic program” due to the
interest demonstrated by so many nations.43 Representatives from sixteen nations
and the territory of Hawaii finalized the creation of the first World IBAF in Berlin
on August 8, 1936. Charter members included Egypt, France, India, Peru, and
Sweden, and the initial headquarters were set up in Miami, Florida.44 The
following year, IOC member Avery Brundage transmitted a request from the
IBAF to be included in the list of IFs recognized by the IOC. The minutes from
this IOC session note the response:
      The Committee welcomed the constitution of this new Federation, but
      regretted its inability to include it in its list, which contained the names of
      only those Federations governing sports which were in the programme of the
      Olympic Games.45
The events of World War II and the subsequent cancellation of the 1940 and 1944
Olympic Games prevented baseball from securing recognition from the IOC and
limited its growth potential during this time. The IOC voted to investigate another
request from baseball in 1953, and the following year it finally granted recognition
to the International Federation of Amateur Baseball—a new name for the previous
organization adopted in 1944—and included baseball on the “list of sport non-
     Between the 1950s and 1970s, baseball struggled to gain a formal place on
the Olympic program. Tensions culminated in 1973 when a splinter group
composed of twenty-four countries broke off from the International Federation
of Amateur Baseball to form the World Federation of Amateur Baseball. This
group organized its own rival championship tournaments featuring its member
nations, including Germay, Nicaragua, Taiwan, and the United States.47 Under-
standing the need to present a unified federation to the IOC to pursue Olympic
inclusion, the two groups reconciled in 1976 to form the Asociación Interna-
cional de Béisbol Amateur (AINBA), which the IOC recognized as the governing
body for baseball in 1978.48 Another name change occurred in 1984, when
delegates to the annual congress decided to identify the organization as the
International Baseball Association (IBA). With headquarters in Indianapolis,
Indiana, the IBA oversaw the growth of global baseball and was responsible for
its eventual inclusion in the Olympics as a full medal sport in 1992. By then, the
IBA had seen its membership grow from sixty-one nations in 1986 to sixty-five in
1990 and seventy-two in 1992.49 Returning to its roots, the IBA renamed itself
the International Baseball Federation (IBAF) at a meeting in 2000, its last
iteration until the creation of the WBSC.50
     It is important to note that the IBAF did not support international competition
for women until 2002, when it chartered the Women’s Baseball World Cup. The
city of Edmonton, Canada, hosted the inaugural World Cup in 2004 with five
participating teams.51 The IBAF oversaw each consecutive World Cup, held every
two years, until 2012, when the WBSC took control.

                               SHR Vol. 51, No. 1, 2020
                                               Unauthenticated | Downloaded 09/06/21 12:24 PM UTC
Under One Banner       133

The International Softball Federation
There is some uncertainty as to when the ISF was first established. Most sources
state that it was formed in 1952 and held its first meeting in Stratford, Connecti-
cut.52 In their respective works on the history of international softball, Lynn
Embrey and Yu Zhou point to evidence that the organization was created two years
earlier in Austin, Texas.53 Regardless, it took the ISF over a decade to function
actively and consistently. It held the first Women’s World Championship in 1965
in Melbourne, in which Australia won gold over Japan, New Zealand, Papua New
Guinea, and the United States.54 During the tournament, the ISF held its first
congress, with delegates from seventeen countries. In 1966, Mexico City hosted
the first Men’s World Championship, with eleven participating nations. Indicative
of softball’s rising global popularity, ISF membership increased from five nations
in 1965 to twenty-four the following year. By 1970, the ISF was composed of
forty-two member nations.55
     The ISF filed an official application with the IOC in early 1967. Later that year,
the IOC formally recognized the ISF during the 65th Session by acknowledging
that the ISF was “conducting their activities at an Olympic standard.”56 An early
goal of the ISF was to have softball accepted as an exhibition sport at the 1972
Olympics in Munich, but IOC officials were adamant that no new events would be
added to better manage the size and cost of the Games. The ISF tried, and failed,
again in 1971 when it asked to be included on the program for the 1976 Games in
Montreal. A significant shift in the ISF’s strategy occurred shortly thereafter, as it
amended its application to remove the men’s fast-pitch discipline and keep only the
women’s competitions.57 By dropping men’s softball from its Olympic aspirations,
the ISF made a commitment to promoting the women’s game at the elite level, but
it also reinforced the dominant assumption that softball was predominantly a
women’s sport. An article in a 1985 issue of Olympic Review referenced this
strategy by stating, “it is as a sport for women that softball seeks inclusion in the
Olympic programme.”58 The ISF followed this approach for the next four decades.

                          The Merger of 1985
In response to a suggestion from IOC president Juan Antonio Samaranch, the IBA
and ISF merged in 1985 to present a joint application for inclusion on the 1992
Olympic program. As noted in a summary report of IOC Executive Board activities
from 1985, the newly formed International Confederation of Amateur Baseball/
Softball was expected to submit written confirmation of its request to have men’s
baseball and women’s softball included on the 1992 program as full medal sports.
The report also notes that the merger allowed the two sports to “be considered as
one in this case,” which the IOC believed to be a strategic benefit, but which also
reinforced the equivalence argument.59 During the twelfth ISF Congress, in May
1985, the members present accepted the merger and “unanimously proclaimed
their willingness to unite their efforts to have women’s softball and baseball
included as Olympic sports.”60 Robert E. Smith, the president of the IBA, who also
served as the president of this short-lived Confederation, explained that the sole
purpose of this merger “was to present a request to the IOC to go into the Olympics
as baseball for men and softball for women.”61

                              SHR Vol. 51, No. 1, 2020
                                               Unauthenticated | Downloaded 09/06/21 12:24 PM UTC
134     Maddox

     Reaction to the merger within the IOC was mixed. During the IOC Session in
1986, during which the inclusion of baseball and softball was discussed, New
Zealand member Lance Cross opined that “baseball and softball were two entirely
different sports” and IFs seeking Olympic recognition “should be discouraged
from using other sports as part of a strategy to gain acceptance.”62 Similarly, Puerto
Rican member German Rieckehoff remarked that he had “never been in favour of
seeing baseball and women’s softball as one sport, but that the proposal had come
from within the IOC,” noting that IOC leadership had encouraged the IBA and ISF
to join forces.63
     Ultimately, the merger failed to accomplish its goal. While baseball was fully
accepted as a medal sport by the local organizing committee in Barcelona, softball
was initially approved by the committee but later rejected, due to concerns about
the size of the Games and the numbers of participating athletes. As noted in the
minutes of the 93rd IOC Session in 1988, the Barcelona organizing committee
“had expressed concern over the inclusion of women’s softball since this sport
would substantially increase participation figures” and, therefore, increase the
financial and structural burden placed on the host city.64 The IOC did not refute
these concerns and removed softball from consideration for the 1992 Games. IOC
members Anita DeFrantz and Flor Isava expressed their frustration at this decision,
to which Samaranch simply replied that the Barcelona committee “had not wished
to have softball on the programme” and “could not be forced to accept women’s
     After following the directive to merge and present their case as a singular
entity, the presidents of the IBA and ISF were disappointed by the IOC’s decision.
Smith, head of the IBA, recounted that “to our surprise, the action of the IOC was to
just accept baseball and not softball.”66 Don E. Porter, the president of the ISF and
secretary-general of the Confederation, expressed his distress in correspondence
with Samaranch. In a letter dated August 5, 1988, he wrote,
      It has been a long and frustrating ordeal for our Confederation in the
      determination of adding softball (women) to the Olympic Program as a medal
      sport as an event with baseball in Barcelona . . . . Our Confederation has done
      everything you and the Program Commission has asked and we are at a loss to
      understand why the inclusion of softball has been delayed and denied its place
      on the program.67
He reiterated his frustrations in another letter addressed to Samaranch, dated
December 14, 1989:
      You have, on a number of occasions, asked that I be patient in our quest to
      have softball included as a medal sport. I have done that, although it has
      been very difficult. Especially, after baseball was approved and softball was
      not . . . . We have done everything you and other IOC officials have asked or
      suggested and now we face the darkest hour of our existence as a sport . . . . I
      feel we have been mislead [sic] and treated very unfairly. I only hope you
      will intercede, in all fairness, and give our sport what it justly deserves . . . the
      opportunity to join the Program both in Barcelona and with full medal status
      in the future.68

                                 SHR Vol. 51, No. 1, 2020
                                                  Unauthenticated | Downloaded 09/06/21 12:24 PM UTC
Under One Banner       135

Porter’s pleas failed to reverse the IOC’s decision, and the Confederation quietly
dissolved, as the IBA and the ISF regrouped as independent entities and went their
separate ways. The ISF eventually triumphed on its own, as softball made its debut
as an Olympic sport in 1996. However, the sense of unfairness and injustice that
Porter expressed to Samaranch would influence the relationship between baseball
and softball in the years to come, as both sports faced the crisis of Olympic

                    In and Out of the Olympics
Baseball has had a steady, if understated, presence in the Olympics since the early
twentieth century. It first appeared as an exhibition sport in the 1904 Summer
Olympics in St. Louis, although the extent of the competition was limited to a few
college and amateur games.69 During the 1912 Games in Stockholm, baseball was
again a demonstration sport, and a team from the United States, composed of
track-and-field athletes, defeated the Swedish club team Vesterås by a score of
13-3.70 Baseball reappeared in 1936 in Berlin, with one exhibition game played
by two American amateur teams in front of over one hundred thousand spectators
at the Olympic Stadium. Leslie Mann, the manager of the teams, noted that the
objective of the exhibition game was “to pave the way to Olympic baseball in
1940 by having the American teams demonstrate it before fifty nations at
Berlin.”71 According to the official American Olympic Committee report issued
after the Games, the exhibition attracted “the largest crowd that ever witnessed the
great American game.”72 The 1956 Melbourne Olympics featured one baseball
game contested between an American team of armed forces personnel from the
Far East Command and an amateur Australian squad, which the Americans won
easily. An exhibition game was played during the 1964 Olympics in Tokyo
between an American amateur team and an all-star Japanese collegiate team that
attracted fifty thousand fans.73 After an absence of twenty years, baseball returned
to the 1984 Games in Los Angeles as an official demonstration sport, approved by
the IOC Executive Board in 1981 in response to extensive lobbying efforts by
AINBA. Eight teams played in the 1984 tournament, approximately 385,000 fans
attended the games, and Japan beat the United States in the final. A rematch of this
championship occurred in 1988 in Seoul, as baseball was once again a demon-
stration sport, and this time, the United States bested Japan to take the top spot.74
Finally, after appearing as a demonstration sport seven times, baseball was
granted full status for the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona until its removal from
the program after the 2008 Games in Beijing.
      Softball’s presence in the Olympics has been limited to four appearances, all
as a full medal sport. In 1991, the IOC agreed to include softball at the 1996 Atlanta
Olympics “on an exceptional basis” as a “sport popular in the region where the
Games are taking place.”75 This designation meant that softball’s place on the
Olympic program was not guaranteed for any Games beyond Atlanta. The softball
tournament, however, was a success and attracted 120,000 spectators over the
course of the competition.76 Upon the conclusion of the 1996 Games, the IOC
Executive Board voted to provisionally include softball on the program for the
2000 Olympics in Sydney. The sport then appeared in an official capacity in 2004

                              SHR Vol. 51, No. 1, 2020
                                               Unauthenticated | Downloaded 09/06/21 12:24 PM UTC
136    Maddox

and 2008 before being dropped from the program, purportedly due to a lack of
universal appeal.
     Both sports survived a scare in 2002, when the IOC Executive Board met to
discuss recommendations from the Olympic Programme Commission (OPC) to
eliminate baseball, softball, and modern pentathlon in an effort to downsize the
Games. In its report, the OPC claimed that the three targeted sports lacked global
reach and television appeal. At the 114th IOC Session in Mexico City in November
of that year, each IF had ten minutes to respond to these findings and present its
case for continuation. The IBAF promised to make efforts to include the best
players in future Olympic tournaments, as the IOC had previously criticized Major
League Baseball for not altering its summer schedule so that the most elite players
could participate in the Games.77 Aldo Notari, president of the IBAF, also
described the “enormous growth” of baseball since its inclusion on the Olympic
program in 1986, noting that it was “the national sport in 15 countries and was
played in 112 countries and on all five continents.”78 Using a similar appeal,
ISF president Porter countered the OPC charges by stating that the ISF had 124
member countries, 5.8 million people around the world played softball, and the
sport’s Olympic attendance grew fifty percent between 1996 and 2000. In short, as
the ISF reasoned, “we belong.”79 Porter also pointed to the issue of gender
equality, arguing that “eliminating softball from the Olympic Programme would
be a contradiction of the IOC’s stated aim of promoting increased participation by
women in sport.”80 Still, the IOC was concerned that only a few countries could
compete at the elite level, as the United States had dominated international play up
to that point, including capturing the gold medal in the 1996 and 2000 Games.
Fortunately, for the three sports in question, the IOC decided to postpone the
decision on removal until after the 2004 Summer Olympics, but the OPC’s
recommendations ultimately proved prescient.
     The vote to drop baseball and softball from the Olympic program took place
during the 117th IOC Session in Singapore in July 2005. Each sport needed a
simple majority of the 105 eligible voters to remain on the program. The vote was
conducted by secret ballot, and the count was not immediately released to the
public. After requesting the voting results, the ISF learned that the final tally for
softball was 52–52 and 50–54 (for/against) for baseball, both with one absten-
tion.81 Had softball garnered just one more vote in favor, it would have stayed on
the Olympic program. According to the minutes of the IOC Session, President
Jacques Rogge emphasized that “the issues of doping and the best players not
competing at the Games had affected baseball, while the issue of universality had
affected softball.”82 Rogge also asserted that the two sports remained on the list of
Olympic sports and would be allowed to apply for re-inclusion in the future, but
this assurance did little to assuage the disappointment of the global baseball
and softball communities. It was indeed a monumental decision, as the last time a
sport had been dropped from the Olympic program was in 1936, when polo was
     Reactions to the vote revealed underlying misperceptions about the two sports
that echoed the assumption of equivalence. Peter Ueberroth, the chairman of the
United States Olympic Committee in 2005, explained in an interview that he “had
heard from several IOC members who said they were confused at the time of the
voting, believing softball was merely an extension of baseball, and now regretted

                              SHR Vol. 51, No. 1, 2020
                                               Unauthenticated | Downloaded 09/06/21 12:24 PM UTC
Under One Banner       137

their vote.”83 Richard Pound, an IOC member from Canada, similarly remarked
that “baseball and softball were viewed as essentially the same sport” by some IOC
members and that “they thought softball was essentially women’s baseball.”84 This
confusion was not identified as a substantial reason why softball was voted out, but
both Ueberroth and Pound believed it was a contributing factor.

                   The Emergence of the WBSC
The IBAF and ISF spent the next four years preparing their cases for Olympic
reinstatement. They would have the chance to reapply in 2009 for inclusion in the
2016 Rio de Janeiro Games. In early 2009, the IBAF tried to persuade the ISF to
make a joint bid, akin to the merger of 1985, but the ISF promptly refused the
partnership. Porter, still president of the ISF and perhaps still stung by the outcome
of the earlier merger, remarked that softball needed to “keep our distance from
baseball . . . we have our own direction we want to take our sport.”85 The ISF was
purportedly concerned about baseball’s previous troubles with doping, a factor that
had caused its removal from the program in 2005. Softball did not want to risk
being connected to charges of doping, if only by association with baseball. In its
bid submission to the IOC, the ISF also included the option for a men’s fast-pitch
tournament, a somewhat surprising move, but one that further distanced the ISF
away from baseball.86
     In response to the ISF’s rebuff, the IBAF made the unexpected decision to
include women’s baseball in an amendment to its bid for reinstatement. In this
amendment, the IBAF noted that thirty of its 128 members had a full discipline for
women, nearly all members supported co-ed youth programs, and the federation
had sponsored the Women’s Baseball World Cup since 2004.87 To support this
endeavor, the IBAF created a new women’s baseball committee led by Donna
Lopiano, former chief executive of the Women’s Sport Foundation, and composed
of representatives from ten countries, including Taiwan, China, Nigeria, India, and
     Neither of these independent strategies convinced the IOC to reinstate baseball
and softball for the 2016 Games. In August 2009, the IOC Executive Board
recommended the inclusion of golf and rugby sevens for the 2016 and 2020
Olympics. During the IOC Session in October, the membership confirmed each
sport by wide margins, without discussing the bids of the other five sports that had
applied.89 Baseball and softball were out again.
     Not to be deterred, the IBAF and ISF turned their attention to the next chance
for inclusion, looking ahead to the IOC Session in Buenos Aires in September
2013. In 2010, the IBAF once again approached the ISF to join together on a bid.
And once again, the ISF rejected the invitation on the grounds that it wanted to
remain independent and pursue Olympic inclusion on its own. IBAF president
Riccardo Fraccari corresponded with ISF president Porter on the matter, trying to
persuade Porter that a joint bid was “the only way back into the Olympic
program.”90 After meeting with Fraccari several times over the next few months
to discuss the idea, Porter finally acquiesced and agreed to explore the possibility of
a merger. In a statement released in 2011, the two federations explained that they
were “analyzing the savings and the reduced impact that may be derived from a

                              SHR Vol. 51, No. 1, 2020
                                               Unauthenticated | Downloaded 09/06/21 12:24 PM UTC
138    Maddox

combined proposal that women’s softball and men’s baseball share a venue and
share space in the Olympic Village” for the 2020 Olympics.91 The commitment to
men’s softball and women’s baseball made in 2009 had now vanished, as each
federation recognized the need to focus on just one discipline.
     It took another year of discussion and negotiation before the two federations
presented their joint bid proposal to the IOC in 2012 and received authorization to
move forward with a formal merger. The initial name of the new organization was
the International Baseball and Softball Federation, and its first tasks were to write a
charter and constitution for the new IF.92 Later in the year, both the ISF and IBAF
approved the merger via their respective memberships and decided on a new name
as part of the branding efforts. In describing the advantages of merging to form
the World Baseball Softball Confederation, Porter remarked, “in addition to the
increased visibility, our sport under one banner will provide the footing for clear
and consistent messaging.”93 The WBSC was formalized on April 14, 2013, and
immediately set to transform that messaging into action.
     In the shortlisted IF report issued by the IOC in August 2013, the WBSC
proposed to include men’s baseball and women’s softball because they are “the
most popular disciplines in the WBSC,” but also indicated that “men’s fast-pitch
softball and women’s baseball could be included in future Olympic Games.”94
In its rationale for Olympic inclusion, the WBSC relied on the assumption that
softball is the most appealing option for girls and women by asserting that
“softball’s global grassroots network would deliver an extraordinary new platform
for the promotion and empowerment of women and girls, enabling the Olympic
Movement to reinforce its advocacy for women in sport.”95 Pursuing gender equity
via men’s softball and women’s baseball was not a priority.
     The two sports, now listed as baseball/softball and considered one sport under
a single IF, went up against wrestling and squash in the 125th IOC Session in
September 2013. With a simple majority of forty-nine votes, the IOC added
wrestling to the program for the 2020 and 2024 Games. Baseball/softball came in
second with twenty-four votes, and squash garnered twenty-two votes.96
     Determined to keep going after such a close vote, the WBSC held its first
congress in May 2014, where “the two sporting cousins of baseball and softball
began the process of, if not singing from the same hymn sheet, then sharing the
same hymnbook.”97 The family reunion represented by the WBSC continued for
another two years, filled with the work of consulting with the IOC, expanding
global reach, and negotiating with stakeholders such as Major League Baseball and
Nippon Professional Baseball. Finally, in August 2016, at the 129th IOC Session,
the IOC voted to include baseball/softball, karate, sport climbing, surfing, and
skateboarding as additional sports on the program for the 2020 Olympics. The
decision to include so many sports was in response to the new regulations set forth
in the Olympic Agenda 2020, which removed the previous limit of twenty-eight
sports, and was also influenced by recommendations from the Organizing Com-
mittee for Tokyo 2020 based on the popularity and cultural importance of baseball
and softball in Japan.98
     Of course, the approved disciplines for 2020 are men’s baseball and women’s
softball, even though the Japanese women’s baseball team is the six-time reigning
world champion and has medaled in every iteration of the Women’s Baseball
World Cup since its founding in 2004. Japan also boasts the Japanese Women’s

                              SHR Vol. 51, No. 1, 2020
                                               Unauthenticated | Downloaded 09/06/21 12:24 PM UTC
Under One Banner       139

Baseball League, currently the only professional league for women in the world,
and a well-developed baseball infrastructure that offers girls and women the chance
to play at youth, high school, collegiate, and adult levels.99 The Japanese men’s
fast-pitch softball team is currently ranked third in the world by the WBSC and has
performed consistently well in world championships, including a second- and
third-place finish. The Japan Men’s Softball League is composed of sixteen teams
that play a fifty-six-game schedule. The 2019 season will mark its forty-eighth year
of play.100 Despite the success and national reach of these disciplines in Japan, the
athletes will not have the opportunity to compete in the Olympics in front of a home
crowd. In its determined efforts to secure an Olympic sport, the WBSC reverted to
the equivalence argument and perpetuated the gendered divide of baseball and

                       Looking to Los Angeles
For the Tokyo Games, the WBSC benefitted from the new rules set forth in the
Olympic Agenda 2020, which abolished the artificial limit of twenty-eight sports
for the Summer Olympics and allows local organizing committees to make
recommendations on the addition or removal of events on a case-by-case basis.
These new rules also hurt the WBSC for the 2024 Games in Paris, as the organizing
committee chose to include break dancing over baseball/softball and four other
sports due to the perceived need to make the Olympics “more urban,” “more
youthful,” and “more artistic.”101 The next chance for baseball/softball to feature in
Olympic play will be 2028 in Los Angeles, an opportunity ripe with poetic
overtones of circling the bases to return home, back to the mythical land of baseball
and softball’s birth.
     But what will Olympic baseball and softball look like in 2028? The WBSC
currently has 211 national federation and associate members across 138 countries
worldwide, and the global baseball/softball community encompasses 65 million
athletes and 150 million fans.102 Yet these demographics are more complex than
the accepted gendered divide might suggest. Women’s baseball is the fastest
growing discipline under the WBSC’s umbrella, with over 300,000 players
worldwide and growing each year.103 The first European Women’s Baseball
Championship was launched in France in the summer of 2019, and Australia is
currently raising funds to start its own professional women’s league. Men’s softball
continues to steadily grow as well, with thriving adult and junior world champi-
onship tournaments organized by the WBSC and representation in the Pan
American Southeast Asian, and Central American and Caribbean Games. Such
was the extent of recent growth in global men’s softball that fourteen new nations
entered the WBSC world rankings in 2018.104
     The merger model that brought baseball and softball governance together on
the global level has been increasingly replicated on regional and national scales.
For example, fourteen national federations established WBSC Oceania in 2018,
after merging the Baseball Confederation of Oceania and the Oceania Softball
Confederation. It joins WBSC Europe and the African Baseball and Softball
Association (ABSA) as continental governing bodies responsible for overseeing
both sports under the structural model set by the WBSC. Emerging from the union

                              SHR Vol. 51, No. 1, 2020
                                               Unauthenticated | Downloaded 09/06/21 12:24 PM UTC
140    Maddox

of the European Softball Confederation and the Confederation of European
Baseball in early 2018, WBSC Europe directs the development, operation, and
marketing of both sports in forty member nations.105 Preceding both of these is
the ABSA, formed in 1990 with nine members and now managing work across
twenty-three countries.106 At the level of national jurisdiction, twenty-four out of
the forty affiliates of WBSC Europe, representing sixty percent of the membership,
are merged federations. These include the Italian Baseball Softball Federation, the
Finnish Baseball and Softball Federation, and the Hungarian National Baseball and
Softball Federation. Five of the fourteen members of WBSC Oceania are mergers,
including the Solomon Islands Baseball and Softball Federation and the Fiji Islands
Baseball and Softball Association. Of the eighteen ABSA countries with mem-
bership in the WBSC, fourteen of them are combined entities with control over
both baseball and softball, including the Uganda Baseball and Softball Association
and the Tunisian Baseball and Softball Federation.107
     Given this trend toward integrated governance and the increasing global reach
of men’s softball and women’s baseball, the WBSC must challenge its own
reliance on the equivalence argument and instead work toward more genuine and
wide-ranging gender equity in its pursuit of Olympic reinstatement. No longer is it
adequate to simply offer up softball as the female equivalent of baseball to even
out the gendered scale. No longer is it good enough to rely on the assumption that
baseball and softball are essentially the same sport. Only if the WBSC provides
innovative leadership and governance in the coming years will we see the true
breadth and joy of both baseball and softball on display on a warm night in
Los Angeles in the summer of 2028.

  1. Tom Degun, “World Baseball Softball Confederation Formed for 2020 Olympic
     Bid,” Inside the Games, December 17, 2012, https://www.insidethegames.biz/articles/
  2. John Thorn, Baseball in the Garden of Eden: The Secret History of the Early Game
     (New York: Simon and Schuster, 2011), 2–24.
  3. Ibid., 111–113.
  4. Harold Seymour, Baseball: The Early Years (New York: Oxford University Press, 1960), 18.
  5. Thorn, Baseball in the Garden of Eden, 143.
  6. Dean A. Sullivan, Early Innings: A Documentary History of Baseball, 1825–1908 (Lincoln:
     University of Nebraska Press, 1995), xviii.
  7. Peter C. Bjarkman, Diamonds around the Globe: The Encyclopedia of International
     Baseball (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 2005), 525.
  8. Gai I. Berlage, Women in Baseball (Westport, CT: Greenwood Publishing Group, Inc.,
     1994), 10, 34, 133.
  9. Jennifer Ring, Stolen Bases: Why American Girls Don’t Play Baseball (Urbana: University
     of Illinois Press, 2009), 81.
 10. Marilyn Cohen, No Girls in the Clubhouse: The Exclusion of Women from Baseball
     (Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Company, 2009), 77, 74.
 11. Adrian Burgos, Playing America’s Game: Baseball, Latinos, and the Color Line (Berkeley:
     University of California Press, 2007), 12.
 12. Ann Travers, “Thinking the Unthinkable: Imagining an ‘Un-American,’ Girl-Friendly,
     Women- and Trans-Inclusive Alternative for Baseball,” Journal of Sport and Social Issues
     37, no. 1 (2013): 81.

                                SHR Vol. 51, No. 1, 2020
                                                   Unauthenticated | Downloaded 09/06/21 12:24 PM UTC
Under One Banner        141

13. Arthur T. Noren, Softball (New York: A.S. Barnes and Company, Inc., 1940), vii.
14. Terrence Cole, “A Purely American Game: Indoor Baseball and the Origins of Softball,”
    The International Journal of the History of Sport 7, no. 2 (1990): 289.
15. Noren, Softball, viii.
16. Ibid., x.
17. Irvin Kawarsky, “The Evolution and History of Softball in the United States” (MS thesis,
    Drake University, 1956), 30.
18. Gai Berlage, “Transition of Women’s Baseball: An Overview,” NINE: A Journal of
    Baseball History and Culture 9, nos. 1–2 (Fall 2000/Spring 2001): 72.
19. Cole, “A Purely American Game,” 294.
20. Morris A. Bealle, The Softball Story (Washington, DC: Columbia Publishing Company,
    1957), 12.
21. Noren, Softball, 5–6.
22. Albert G. Spalding, America’s National Game: Historic Facts Concerning the Beginning
    Evolution, Development and Popularity of Base Ball (New York: American Sports
    Publishing Company, 1911), 10–11.
23. Barbara Gregorich, Women at Play: The Story of Women in Baseball (San Diego: Harcourt
    Brace & Company, 1993), 22–25.
24. Karlene Ferrante, “Baseball and the Social Construction of Gender,” in Women, Media and
    Sport: Challenging Gender Values, ed. Pamela J. Creedon (Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage
    Publications, Inc., 1994), 241.
25. Gladys E. Palmer, Baseball for Girls and Women (New York: A.S. Barnes and Company,
    1929), 6.
26. Berlage, “Transition of Women’s Baseball,” 77.
27. Jennifer Ring, “Invisible Women in America’s National Pastime . . . or, ‘She’s Good. It’s
    History, Man,’” Journal of Sport and Social Issues 37, no. 1 (2013): 62. doi:10.1177/
28. Berlage, “Transition of Women’s Baseball,” 79.
29. Ring, “Invisible Women in America’s National Pastime,” 63.
30. Noren, Softball, 44–45.
31. Ibid., 46.
32. Viola Mitchell, Softball for Girls (New York: A.S. Barnes and Company, 1943), 79.
33. Ibid., 27.
34. Bealle, The Softball Story, 167.
35. Gai Berlage, “From Bloomer Girls’ Baseball to Women’s Softball: A Cultural Journey
    Resulting in Women’s Exclusion from Baseball,” in The Cooperstown Symposium on
    Baseball and American Culture 1999, ed. Peter M. Rutkoff (Jefferson, NC: McFarland &
    Company, Inc., 2000), 257.
36. Erica Westly, Fastpitch (New York: Touchstone, 2016), 17.
37. Ibid., 89.
38. Jaime Schultz, Qualifying Times: Points of Change in U.S. Women’s Sport (Urbana:
    University of Illinois Press, 2014), 5.
39. Travers, “Thinking the Unthinkable,” 78.
40. Ring, “Invisible Women in America’s National Pastime,” 65.
41. Jean-Loup Chappelet and Brenda Kübler-Mabbott, The International Olympic Committee
    and the Olympic System: The Governance of World Sport (London: Routledge, 2008), 26.
42. John R. Vosburgh, “Squad of 20 Will Go to Germany,” The New York Times, July 8,
    1936, X17.
43. Frederick W. Rubien, ed., Report of the American Olympic Committee, (New York:
    American Olympic Committee, 1936), 305.
44. “16 Nations Form Baseball Group,” The New York Times, August 9, 1936, S2.

                                SHR Vol. 51, No. 1, 2020
                                                  Unauthenticated | Downloaded 09/06/21 12:24 PM UTC
You can also read