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May 9, 2013

Sharon Poole gave girls a Little League incentive

(Continued)

“Now comes the shattering news that a girl player temporarily infiltrated a Little League team in Haverhill, MA. Because she is so young, Sharon could not perceive how heinous it was for a girl to be playing in Little League.”

Sharon had her own thoughts on the subject. She was destined to play, despite the rigmarole and negativity behind the scenes.

A Gazette poll showed general sympathy for her situation. In fact, the only place Sharon got any real opposition was in the league for which she played so briefly. And that came mainly from adults.

“The kids thought I did a good job,” she said. During the controversy. “My teammates didn’t mind. I don’t know why they won’t let me play.”

After being reinstated, she led her Indians team to first place, played a steady center field, and wound up with a lifetime batting average of .400 before moving over to girls softball as a pitcher.

The fact remains that Haverhill couldn’t possibly have attracted any more attention nationally than it received through this episode — unless it had an earthquake or some other natural disaster.

Two of my grandsons play Little League baseball on the same team. They share the lineup with girls and one of them can wallop the ball. Her name is Alice.

“She’s the best one on the team,” one of the boys rejoiced. “Wish I could hit like Alice.”

I had to smile. If only Sharon Poole realized the legacy she had started.

Writer and photographer Tom Vartabedian is retired from The Haverhill Gazette. He contributes this regular column.

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