A 10-year-old Gwen Goldman wrote to then-Yankees general manager Roy Hamey in 1961 and was told she would be "out of place" in the dugout.
Sixty years ago, a 10-year-old Gwen Goldman had dreams of being a bat girl for the Bronx Bombers. In 1961, she wrote to then-Yankees general manager Roy Hamey about it who in response said, “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 in a game dominated by men a young lady such as yourself would feel out of place in a dugout." That letter has been sitting in Goldman’s living room since.
In 1961, Gwen Goldman wanted to be a bat girl. The Yankees told her no.— MLB (@MLB) June 28, 2021
Today, 60 years later, her dream comes true. pic.twitter.com/hKergQuXvg
Now, the 70-year-old finally lived her childhood dream as she became an honorary bat girl at the Yankees' home game against the Los Angeles Angels on Monday. According to PEOPLE, the Connecticut native also threw the ceremonial first pitch as a part of the team's 2021 HOPE Week initiative, which celebrates the accomplishments of a different fan or organization each day. According to the official website, it elaborates: On each of five consecutive days during the celebration of HOPE Week, the Yankees shine a spotlight on a different individual, family or organization worthy of recognition and support. Each day is designed so honorees can share their inspirational stories with Yankees players, fans and the media, while being surprised with the day of their dreams. Though each day's celebration ultimately culminates with a visit to Yankee Stadium on the day of a game, outreach typically takes place at a location in the community that symbolizes the accomplishments of the honoree.
At 10 years old, Gwen Goldman wrote a letter to the Yankees asking to be a bat girl.— New York Yankees (@Yankees) June 28, 2021
Tonight, as a part of the first day of #HOPEWeek, we welcome her to Yankee Stadium to live out her dream 60 years later. pic.twitter.com/ixiFtkkADi
Gwen Goldman's dream came true thanks to her daughter Abby, who forwarded Hamey's letter to current general manager Brian Cashman. Goldman had hung Hamey's letter on her living room wall to show her "love for the Yankees and to hold on to a dream," she explained in a video call with Cashman. Reading from a new letter addressed to the die-hard fan, Cashman told Goldman, "Although your long-ago correspondence took place 60 years ago, six years before I was born, I feel compelled to resurrect your original request and do what I can to bring your childhood dream to life. Here at the Yankees, we have championed to break down gender barriers in our industry. It is an ongoing commitment rooted in the belief that a woman belongs everywhere a man does, including the dugout," he said.
Gwen Goldman exchanged fist bumps with the New York Yankees, a team she had been admiring for decades from afar. On June 28 she walked onto the field as a bat girl at the age of 70 and waved to the crowd.https://t.co/SMf2cyIxno— NEWS10 ABC (@WTEN) June 29, 2021
"And despite the fact that six decades have passed since you first aspired to hold down the position as a New York Yankees Bat Girl, it is not too late to reward and recognize the ambition you showed in writing that letter to us as a 10-year-old girl." An emotional Goldman replied, "It is my honor and my dream, and I can't thank you enough for making this come true. Thank you for doing this for us women and for moving forward and opening the world up to the population," she added. "I feel like I'm in a dream, to tell you the truth."