The New York Yankees fulfilled a lifelong dream for Gwen Goldman during their latest game when they honored her 60-year-old request to serve as the team’s bat girl.
Goldman, 70, sent the Yankees the request when she was 10 in 1961 and found herself standing on the field Monday at Yankee Stadium in New York.
“It was worth writing that letter, worth having that hope and worth pursuing it,” Goldman told reporters. “Even if you don’t get it at first, you just keep going.
“Sixty years thinking about this and here it is.”
Goldman toured the clubhouse, met players and coaches, posed for photos with umpires and threw out the first pitch. She sported a full pinstripe uniform for her honorary duties.
The Yankees informed Goldman of the honor last week as part of their Hope Week initiative. Each year, over five-consecutive days, the team shines a spotlight on a specific individual, family or organization worthy of recognition or support.
The honorees share their inspirational stories with Yankees players, fans and the media while being surprised by the team.
Goldman wrote her initial letter to former Yankees general manager Roy Hamey when she was a child in Westport, Conn. Hamey issued a response, which said “in a game dominated by men a young lady such as yourself would feel out of place in a dugout.”
Goldman kept the letter pinned to a bulletin board. Her daughter recently forwarded it to current Yankees general manager Brian Cashman.
Cashman surprised Goldman with the honor last week during a Zoom conference call, which also included ace pitcher Gerrit Cole.
“Here at the Yankees, we have championed to break down gender barriers in our industry,” Cashman wrote in a letter to Goldman. “It is an ongoing commitment rooted in the belief that a woman belongs everywhere a man does, including in the dugout.”
The Los Angeles Angels beat the Yankees 5-3 on Monday at Yankee Stadium.