It’s never too late to realize your dreams, and 70-year-old Gwen Goldman can testify to that. The now-retired social worker has been a New York Yankees fan her entire life, ever since her father used to take her to games as a little girl. When she was 10 years old she wrote a letter to her favorite team, asking if she could serve as the Yankees’ bat girl. However, much to her disappointment, she received a letter back from the general manager at the time, Roy Hamey, who told her no. He believed girls didn’t belong in the dugout.
In the letter—dated June 12, 1961—Hamey wrote, “While we agree with you that girls are certainly as capable as boys, 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.”
The current Yankees general manager, Brian Cashman, recently received a forwarded email from Goldman’s daughter, Abby, who had sent a photo of her mother’s rejection letter. When he learned of Goldman’s dismissal, he decided to write to her personally. In his letter—dated June 23, 2021— Cashman wrote, “A woman belongs everywhere a man does, including the dugout…[It’s] not too late to reward and recognize the ambition you showed in writing that letter to us as a 10-year-old girl.” The manager added, “Some dreams take longer than they should to be realized, but a goal attained should not dim with the passage of time.”
Finally, 60 years later, the Yankees have corrected the unfair knock back. Goldman was recently invited to the Bronx stadium to serve as an honorary bat girl in a game against the Los Angeles Angels. The special moment was part of #HOPEWeek, an annual program run by the Yankees that celebrates “individuals, families, or organizations worthy of support.”
Wearing a full Yankees uniform, Goldman threw out a ceremonial first pitch to Yankees player Tyler Wade on June 29, 2021. After her pitch, the delighted Goldman waved her cap as fans applauded. She then stood alongside manager Aaron Boone for the national anthem. “From walking in the front door of the stadium at Gate 2, to coming up to a locker with my name on it, and suiting up, then walking out onto the field. It took my breath away,” Goldman admitted. “It was a thrill of a lifetime—times a million. And I actually got to be out in the dugout, too. I threw out a ball, and I met the players. They had set up a day for me, which is something that I never would have expected.”
Even though she had been rejected 60 years ago, Goldman never stopped being a New York Yankees fan. She kept Hamey’s response on a bulletin board at her home in Connecticut for six decades. “It wasn’t what I wanted to see, but they wrote me a letter and I’ve always loved them.” She added later, “But I never in my wildest dreams ever thought that 60 years later, Brian Cashman would make this become a reality.”
Watch the Goldman’s childhood dream come true below.
Gwen Goldma was rejected by the Yankees at age 10 because she was a girl, but six decades later, she finally threw her first pitch.