Participants represent various professional career paths, including the MLB Commissioner’s Office
More than 80 women representing five teams traveled to Historic Dodgertown – Vero Beach this past weekend for a Women’s Baseball tournament, and played on the property the same as 60 years of Major League Dodger baseball.
The women traveled from Toronto, Washington, DC, New England and northern states, and from Florida to participate in the tournament. This is the fourth visit to Historic Dodgertown by this Women’s Baseball tournament group.
“We chose this tournament in Vero Beach because we love to come to Florida in November, as this lengthens our tournament season,” said tournament organizer Alana McKinley, who also plays for the Toronto Fusion of the Ontario Women’s Baseball League. “This is a well-run tournament. The fields are unbelievable and it is a real treat for us. Play and stay – Historic Dodgertown has everything we need.”
Women’s baseball tournaments welcome players as young as age 13. The women play in regular leagues and on travel ball teams throughout the year. Clinics for girls ages 13-17 are held to encourage interest and to let all women know there are opportunities for them to play baseball.
The women come from diverse backgrounds. McKinley is a behavior analyst for children with autism. Also playing in the tournament were a police officer from Toronto, an attorney with the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, financial analysts, teachers, students including a Ph.D. student, and a Major League Baseball (MLB) staff member.
Elizabeth Benn, who plays on the DC Thunder team, currently works in the Labor Relations Department in the MLB Commissioner’s office in New York. This past summer Benn visited Historic Dodgertown while working in MLB’s Youth Programs Department and assisted in the planning and coordination of the inaugural Elite Development Invitational Softball camp. Nearly 85 high school girls from across the country and Puerto Rico traveled to Historic Dodgertown for MLB’s camp, and were coached by more than 20 softball stars, including five Olympians, on how to play the game and to encourage education and life skills.
Benn was first introduced to baseball at a young age, and at age 7 joined a boy’s baseball league. Aside from being a walk-on softball player in at the University of Toronto, she has always played baseball on boys, men’s and women’s teams, including while earning a Master’s degree at Columbia University. She also played in the Women’s Baseball tournament two years ago at Historic Dodgertown.
“It is just really special being here because of the history, and the trail-blazing history of Jackie Robinson training at Dodgertown during Spring Training,” said Benn. “Getting to be on the same fields and at the same facility is a special opportunity.”
Benn, who also teaches philosophy at Lehman College, enjoyed the summer EDI Softball camp and seeing the girls’ reaction upon entering the Major League Clubhouse, fitness rooms, meeting rooms and more. For many of the girls, this was the first time they encountered a truly professional experience.
To hear more from Benn and to see photos from the tournament, please click here.
Whether women’s baseball or softball, Historic Dodgertown provides the optimal setting to show women their love for the game has no limits.