Believe in Your Dreams

The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.
– Eleanor Roosevelt

Today, I got another email from a parent whose daughter was unjustly cut from her school baseball team. Today’s blog is dedicated to Hannah – the beautiful, shy, red head, who has a cannon for an arm and a gold glove in her hands. You are welcome to play for me anytime.

If you tell a girl she can’t play baseball, what else will she believe she can’t do?
Throughout my baseball career, I have been told what I can’t do. I can’t play.
I can’t coach. I can’t ______ (just fill in the blank). And I am not alone.
Girls, like Hannah, are being forced out of baseball. They are told they can’t
do it. Sometimes they aren’t even allowed to try out. They are simply told
baseball is not for them.

I have a confession… Susan Boyle’s “I Dreamed a Dream” is one of my favorite songs. When listening, I close my eyes and imagine Boyle on that stage, with a dream. She is awkward and doesn’t seem to look the star part. The audience expects her to fail and perhaps they want her to fail. But Boyle knows what she is capable of. And when she opens her mouth, she sings that song of greatness. And then they all believe.

As a female baseball player and coach, I know all to well about not looking the part. About being awkward. And about having a dream. We all know that feeling. That moment when we are told we are not good enough. Not because of who we are or what we can accomplish but because of how we are seen. We are told things, like: we are not tall enough, or pretty enough, or smart enough. Or worse, the unspoken excuses: our skin is the wrong color, our religion is different, or we are not the right gender. And then we just think to ourselves, if only they would see us for who we are, then they could see us for what we could become.

We all have our Susan Boyle moment. That moment when it seems no one believes in us. Yet there we are, with an opportunity, standing with our own dream. And they may be laughing at us. But we must believe in ourselves and know that when we open our mouth to sing or when we wind up to pitch, greatness will be sure to come.

Hannah – Believe. Your moment will come. Your greatness is within. For I know what the better question is… if you tell a girl she can play baseball what else will she believe she CAN DO?


Congratulations! This is great!

This is so beautiful and you are so extraordinary! Giving young girls something unique to emulate and aspire to is one of your special gifts, Justine.

When I started umpiring in 1981 I often felt like a lone wolf howling at the moon, and you’ve expressed those feelings for me perfectly through recounting your own experiences of rejection and disorientation. We, and the young girls who follow in our footsteps, still face those battles every day, and those little voices inside our heads trying to convince us that we aren’t worthy, that we don’t deserve what we’ve legitimately earned, that we really don’t belong, often seem to be louder than the ones coming from outside. But with you setting an example of what perseverance and and focus can accomplish, no matter how many setbacks occur – and there will be many :-) – the strongest voice will be the one in our hearts shouting, “She Did It – And So Can I!”

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