Remmick-Hubert Memoirs: Baseball, Lodi, CA, USA

Last Updated: 8 June 2004

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Boys To The Left, Girls To The  Right

A Short Story About Crossing Lines

Year was 1949.

There were two signs  over the two entrance portals of Lincoln Elementary School. The sign to my left read "BOYS" and the one to my right  read "GIRLS".  These signs meant exactly what they said. I, a girl, a third grader, and all the others girls were suppose to enter the "GIRLS" portal, and the boys were to enter just the "BOYS" portal. I remember standing under the "GIRLS" thinking this isn't right. However, if I wanted to go to school, which I did, I had to enter under "GIRLS" which I did.

I was relieved when I found my class had boys and girls.

My new teacher, Mrs. Benson probably explained to us who she was and where we were headed during the school year. She didn't mention baseball, even though it was a perfect fall day for a game..

I loved baseball and was keeping daily check on the Jackie Robinson who was bound to win the MVP in the National League.

The newsreels in the Lodi Movie Theatre had been showing highlights of Jackie Robinson, the first Black,  hitting and running the bases all season long. And, it was because of him that I became a long time fan of the Brooklyn Dodgers.

When the recess bell rang and all of us headed outside, baseball was in my mind. I knew I'd have to prove myself to all the boys who didn't know how good I was at the game.   I started to head toward the baseball diamonds on the left side of the school yard at the farthermost corner from the school building.

I don't recall when I was stopped by the yard teacher , I just remember I was. Just as I was quickly informed by the yard teacher that I had to play on the right side of the white line which ran down the center of the play yard. To the rightwere the girls and  to the left were the boys and the baseball diamonds. The yard teacher patted my shoulder and went off to watch the yard for farther problems which often occurred on the first few days of school. I stood by that white line on the right side trying to digest what this would mean to me. Was this like the color line Jackie Robinson had to cross? He did it. Could I?  I had no doubts that I could. Was I alone? Probably.  All  the other girls  were playing hopscotch, jump rope, or, just standing around talking and giggling. I already knew most girls didn't like baseball. There wasn't even a baseball diamond on the girls side....The white line loomed up at me, again. So, my next thought was, "How was I going to get to the other side?". I viewed the situation. There was only one teacher on yard duty. She couldn't see all of us at once. And, she didn't seem to be interested in the boys who were choosing sides in the far fields.. Within the next five minutes I had worked my way around the field, back behind the equipment shed and was soon standing next to the back stop.  Many of the boys thought I was one of those girls who had a crush on one of them and was a "flutter fly", ["a love sick pest"]. A couple of the boys my age knew me and knew I could play better than them, so, they told the others I could play.  

My first hit was a double.

Because I was wearing a dress, I was finally spotted by the yard teacher who was quite disturbed.

The yard teacher gave me a strong lecture about the "immorality of girls playing with boys". I didn't know what she was talking about. All I knew was, it wasn't immoral to play baseball in September .

To make a long story short, I took a long detour on the girls' side  and was soon back to the baseball field ....

The next day, I told my mother that I wasn't wearing a dress and I slipped on my jeans. She tried to explain that I'd not be accepted at school in jeans. Girls were to be "little ladies" and wear dresses and boys could be boys and wear jeans. Having inherited a huge stubborn streak, I went to school in jeans.

My poor mother, who  loved lace and chiffon,  had a daughter , me, who loved her jeans.

The moment I entered school under the "GIRLS" sign, I was headed into a different battle.

I didn't realize that I was suppose to be too young to know what was good for me. And the adults at school didn't realize my love for baseball would allow me to enter many doors shut to girls and, later, women.

Of course, Mrs. Bensen , my third grade teacher, who knew the rules, marched me to the principle's office and pointed at my legs. Jeans!

My mother was called and she was soon seated with me in the principle's office.

I wish I could remember the principle's name, but it escapes me.

The principle seemed very nice. I didn't dislike him because he was following some "stupid rule" that he didn't create. The conclusion for the day was: "I must wear a dress." And, "rules are rules".

My mothers, who was always great in allowing me to be a "free thinker",   explained not once but over and over why I couldn't wear jeans to school ....

With a new plan, I started to learn which of the girls would like to play baseball....

At least once a day, I slipped out of the tetherball line and moved behind the shed and joined the boys in another game of baseball. The boys protected me from being discovered. One would always give me a baseball hat I was given the position at short stop which was hard for the yard teacher to see because of the angle of the field and the equipment shed

Quickly, we learned which yard teachers ventured out to the baseball fields and those who didn't.

Jackie Robinson was hitting  .372 for the Brooklyn Dodgers who would be in the World Series with the New York Yankees.

On the first day of the World Series of 1949,   I carried under my arm a small radio to school. I had plans of listening to the game during recess. It never occurred to me that Mrs. Bensen would not allow me to listen to the game.

Recess bell  finally sounded. I could hardly get to my radio fast enough. A small group of boys of my class gathered around me as I plugged the radio into the wall socket, and the voice of the announcers for the World Series sounded for us to hear. I felt the excitement. The game was in progress. We waited to hear the score.

Mrs. Bensen, who didn't know the difference between the  National League and American League, stormed toward me and my little group. "What are you doing?" caromed Mrs. Bensen. We were listening to baseball we voiced....  She declared there would be no baseball being heard in her class. I was never one who backed down, even from adults. I stood firm, "This is not just baseball, this is the World Series, Mrs. Bensen." She refused to listen "This is recess and you must go out and play," she declared. When the boys and I were out in the hall, I declared that I was going over her head and was going to get approval from the principle. I asked them to hang around in case I needed them. I marched to the principle's office. The boys couldn't believe what I was doing. Choosing my words carefully, I explained my situation with the principle. I said that Mrs. Bensen felt we should go outside for recess, as it was the rule, however, we, the boys and I, were wondering if we could remain inside and listen to the World Series "Do you know the score?" was the principle's first question. I told him the score as well as, who was up, the inning, how many outs, and, the boys and I would be really really quiet if we could only listen during recess.

Fortunately for me, the principle was a baseball fan.

I and the boys followed the principle back to Mrs. Bensen's class. We quickly plugged in the radio as the principle explained to Mrs. Bensen that it wasn't against the rules for us to listen during recess to the World Series. He told her that we promised to be very quiet and sit in our chairs around the radio. And, if we were not good, she could turn the radio off and we couldn't listen anymore that day nor the next.

The principle had opened the door to the boys and I and we weren't going to ruin our chance to hear the 1949 World Series.

The boys and I  knew we had won a different kind of  victory that day and the next and the next...

In time, I and the other girls did get to wear jeans.

Before I left fourth grade, the girls and boys were playing together for one recess.

My next 'gender" barrier was, again, baseball, and it occurred at Woods School. The boys needed two more players for their after school team. I was to be their roving short stop. Rosie [Rosella Breitmeyer] was their left fielder. My nickname was "Duke Snider, and Rosie's was "Mickey Mantel". Our bats were just as hot. Our mitts were good. And, we both were fast.


Rosella Breitmeyer was known as "Mickey Mantel"

Thanks to Mrs. Melby , [our principle or was she our vice principle], we were allowed to play on the boys' team  at Woods School  in our seveth  and eight grade years..

Mrs. Melby

Mrs. Elvera Melby, Head of Girls' P.E., Lodi HS-1956-7

When the boys traveled to other schools to play, I and Rosie were not allowed to travel with them. The other schools didn't allow girls to play baseball.

In High School, Mrs. Melby was there, again, to help the girls who were good in sport. She arranged for us to travel to other schools and compete against other girls teams. Most of them were in the bay area. I remember playing Acalanes in Lafayette, CA in basketball.. We were even given "Letters", a large felt "L" the first time around then a real letter we could sew on our own "letter sweaters" like the boys.


Junior Class - Girls' Sport - Softball Lodi HS-1959

Pitcher: is  Bettyann Bettger, Batter is Kathy Welsh, Catcher is Judy A. Remmick and Ump is Judy Lowry 

I changed my loyality to the  Giants  when they came to San Francisco....

It wasn't until I was a mother and my second son was going into his second year of Little League that I was given the opportunity to coach his Major League team.

I'll never forget at the board meeting the night it was decided I could be the manager. One of the fathers asked me, "Being coach is well and good but how are you going to coach the boys?" Without blinking I replied, "The same way you do, with a ball, a bat, only my baseball cap will be a different color." Although it had never been done before, the board approved my position as the first woman Major League manager of Lafayette, California,  and, maybe, Western USA...

At my first baseball practice the young boys stood looking at me with more than doubts in their hearts. I was a Mom. Almost all if them believed all Moms didn't know  anything about baseball. So, they thought they were "losers" before the year even got started.

Knowing the boys, I told who to go where and they moved like slugs over salt.

When the boy in center field stopped a few yards behind second base. I shouted out to him to move back. He did. I told him to move back farther. Also, when he caught the ball to throw it to his cut off man, etc. etc. etc..

I had on my navy cap,  as I threw the ball up in the air and swung the bat. The ball contacted the wood and it went flying up up and over the center fielder's head.

With a huge grin, the center fielder came trotting back and voiced, "Hey that lady can hit!"

We won the championship that year.

Because I was the manager of the championship team, I was the coach for the All-Stars, which placed me into a different set of circumstances. I had some "good old boys" who refused to shake my hand at one of the games. I had one man whine about the public attention I was receiving. They didn't bother me. The majority of men were very nice and knew we were there for the boys.

Both of my sons were very good baseball players.

I hope I taught my sons, and my team,  how to win and lose like gentlemen.

To this day, I thank Jackie Robinson for crossing the line and having suffered all the abuses because he inspried others, even a small third grader, to  understand equality .

Judy A. Remmick-Hubert

Learn more about Jackie Robinson:

  Jackie Robsinson's actions were always in the direction of  freedom and equality                for all of us in the USA.

See Picture of  Duke Snider, Jackie Robinson, Roy Campanella, Pee Wee Reese and Gil Hodges.

Go SF Giants!

Last Series

"Tell It Goodbye"

1960 - 1999

The sieries with Los Angles Dodgers was the final series of games the Giant's will play in  3 Com Park  [Candelstick Park]

The pen reads: Final Days, Sept. 28, 29, 30, 1999, Giants VS Dodgers.

Our new park, Pac Bell,  should be ready for the Season 2000.


........... Hubert logo

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