‘The Girl in Centerfield’ comes to Ypsilanti; see the story of the Little League pioneer who changed the face of youth baseball forever

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“The Girl in Centerfield,” the amazing story of Carolyn King, the girl who broke down Little League’s gender barrier in 1973, is being shown on May 21 in Ypsilanti. The acclaimed documentary by Emmy-nominated filmmakers Brian Kruger and Buddy Moorehouse of Stunt3 Multimedia will be shown at 7 p.m. Saturday, May 21, at Pease Auditorium on the campus of Eastern Michigan University in Ypsilanti. Tickets are $10, available at www.emutix.com, or at the door. For more information, e-mail info@stunt3.com, or call 517-375-5708.

In addition to the film screening, the event will also feature an appearance by Carolyn King, the pioneering baseball player from Ypsilanti whose lawsuit convinced Little League to drop its boys-only policy that year. Carolyn will answer questions from the audience following the showing, and will also be available for autographs and photographs after the show.

Carolyn was the most famous little girl in America in the summer of 1973, as her story played out on the evening news and on the front page of every newspaper in the country. She was just looking to play baseball when she tried out for the Ypsilanti American Little League that spring, but started making waves when she beat out several boys to win a spot on the Orioles. Carolyn’s participation on the team was in direct violation of Little League’s rules, which stated clearly, “Girls are not eligible.”

When the Orioles played their first game on May 11, 1973, the event was covered by national news crews from CBS and NBC, along with a host of other reporters from around the country. When Little League responded by kicking the Ypsilanti chapter out of the organization, it prompted a landmark lawsuit by Carolyn’s family and the local league that eventually convinced Little League to drop its no-girls policy. In 1974 – thanks to Carolyn King of Ypsilanti – girls were able to legally play Little League baseball for the first time.

Carolyn King made baseball history when she played Little League for the Ypsilanti Orioles in 1973.

“The Girl in Centerfield” is the fascinating tale of how the events unfolded in the summer of 1973. Using interviews with Carolyn, her coach, team members and more – along with long-forgotten news clips and actual footage of Carolyn’s first game – filmmakers Kruger and Moorehouse tell the story of the courageous little girl who took on the largest youth sports organization in America – and won.

Since 1973, more than 5 million girls have played Little League. This is the story of how it began.

To see the movie’s trailer, click here.

About Buddy Moorehouse 83 Articles
Longtime Livingston County journalist Buddy Moorehouse is director of communications at the Michigan Association of Public School Academies.