Girl Sox Nation

It Takes More Than Balls; The Savvy Girls of Summer Talk to Girlsox Nation E-mail
A good book can teach you a thing or two about an interesting subject, but a really good book glues you to its pages with engaging language, humor, insight and heart…a greatbook does both. Deidre Sliva and Jackie Koney are the authors of such a book, and it’s about baseball no less, which makes our girlsox-fan hearts go pitter patter. “It Takes More Than Balls; The Savvy Girls’ Guide to Understanding and Enjoying Baseball, “in the words of Deidre Silva, “is the book we had always wanted to read…a book that answered all the questions we had ever wanted to ask sitting at a ball game…” They go on to explain why it is that women are naturally behind in the learning curve about baseball, and why a book that tackled a little bit of everything about the Perfect Game would be appealing to women, (and anyone else) who was coming to the game with limited knowledge but passionate interest. “Women have always been spectators of the sport…most boys at least had a couple of years of little league or something, so they have a real insider knowledge of something like the hit-and-run…as a spectator you’re a little behind.”

Although it has a pink binder and is written by two women, this book has broad appeal for any casual fan who wants to enjoy the game, and learn more in the process. “We didn’t write the book specifically for women. Even after the book was finished, we were still dissecting what makes women different…” which doesn’t mean they don’t have a few opinions on what that could be. In a substantial survey taken by the Savvy Girls, they observed the differences in the way men and women framed their favorite baseball memories. While women largely reflected upon their childhood trips to the ballpark with family, men were overwhelmingly focused on an actual game experience and could name the score as this pivotal, memorable game approached the ninth inning. Added Jackie Koney, “And because many women come to the game later in life, after they were already settled into a town, and connected to that… they start following that major league team…women are attached to their hometown team and their guys.”

Living in Seattle, the Savvy Girls admit they may be a little spoiled by a team that strives to include women in every facet of the city’s baseball experience, and that women should expect to be catered to as a powerful market force, but not just with pink baseball hats. “I don’t care what people wear to the game, the color, it just doesn’t matter to me,” says Koney about the non-traditional gear of many fans, “I just don’t like the way they (MLB teams) reach out to women by just producing something pink to buy. They should be reaching out to women, but they should do it right.” In Seattle, this means more women’s bathrooms than men’s in the park, bend-over-backwards accommodating of mothers with babies or toddlers in tow, and soliciting the advice of women on everything from food at the concession stands to the desirable qualities of the team’s players.

What also comes through in this book is the pure, unadulterated fun that these two find in the whole universe of baseball. It shows in every cleverly named chapter, such as “Something Has Run Afoul” or “Is That a Can of Pine Tar in Your Pocket, or Are You Just Happy to See Me?” and in the playful and edgy title as well (a title, I found out, that is not allowed to be posted on the Mariners jumbotron – only the subtitle is). “We weren’t sure how we felt about the title at first,” commented Jackie who admitted they had tossed around others and were advised to take this one chapter title onto the front cover. “We were nervous…but it’s provocative and everyone has an opinion on it one way or another.”

Whatever your opinion, no matter what the reason you find yourself in a ballpark seat or in front of the TV on a Sunday afternoon, or whatever color you don to show your team loyalty and pride, you’ll find the informative and the irreverent, the serious and the silly, in the words of Savvy Girls. Click here to purchase “It Takes More Than Balls” by Deidre Silva and Jackie Koney.

By Maggie Magner, Girlsox Staff