The end of the last homestand included a couple of pregame events at the ballpark that were pretty inspiring for kids (and adults): BAWSI Night and Little League Day.
The Bay Area Women’s Sports Initiative held its first ballpark event on Saturday night, inviting a panel of distinguished female athletes to speak and sign autographs. These are women who have had to fight for their place in the sports world, from Anne Cribbs speaking about how after winning a gold medal at the 1960 Olympics, she had to stop swimming because her college had no program for women, to Sharon Kelleher talking about getting involved in wheelchair sports after a car accident left her paralyzed.
Each of the women shared uplifting and challenging moments from their lives, as well as words of advice for the girls in the audience — BAWSI (“bossy”) girls. More photos from the event are at the bottom of this entry.
On Sunday, bright and early, a huge number of Little Leaguers descended on the ballpark for a pregame presentation by Mike Krukow, J.T. Snow, Brian Wilson, Matt Cain, Aaron Rowand and others. They also got to parade around the field before the game.
Snow talked about challenging moments in his baseball life, coaching his son’s Little League team and his famous grab of Darren Baker in the 2002 World Series, among other topics, while Wilson got a laugh when he was asked how many homers he’d given up (he declined to answer).
On Saturday, the Giants will host BAWSI Night, honoring Bay Area women athletes and encouraging girls and women to pursue their goals. With the purchase of a special ticket for the Reds-Giants game, fans can attend a pregame Q&A session led by soccer star Brandi Chastain, one of the co-founders of the Bay Area Women’s Sports Initiative.
The panel participants will be honored in a pregame ceremony at 5:30 and then will greet fans and sign autographs at the Community Clubhouse during the first two innings of the game.
Here’s who’s scheduled to be there:
- Monica Abbott and Vicky Galindo, USA Softball members
- Dawn Riley, captain of the first all-female ship in the America’s Cup
- Susan Armenta, U.S. women’s record holder in racewalking
- Sissi, Brazilian soccer star and 1999 World Cup Golden Boot winner
- Sharon Kelleher, former top ranked women’s paraplegic tennis player
- Chelsea Spencer, National Pro Fastpitch and University of California Berkeley alumna