(ABOVE: photo by Chris Capaci/Capacity Images)
Updated—11:51 a.m., June 28
We all know Hoboken is the “Birthplace of Baseball.” This weekend, it will host an exciting event honoring one of our city’s trailblazers in the sport.
The Baseball For All “Maria Pepe Series,” the East Coast’s largest all-girls baseball tournament, will be held in Hoboken and Weehawken June 29 & 30. The series is named in honor of Maria Pepe, who fought for her ability to play in the Hoboken Little League in 1972, sparking a case that was ultimately decided in the New Jersey Superior Court and effectively broke down the barriers to sports for girls, with the Little League instituting programs that eventually resulted in female phenoms like perfect-game pitcher Kathleen Brownell and Mo’ne Davis.
The event this weekend will see over 130 girls ages 8–18 from throughout the Northeast play baseball with and against other girls.
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“I am honored by this recognition and accept it on behalf of all those who have helped me along the way, for all the girls who play, and all the parents who support their daughters’ dreams of playing baseball,” says Pepe.
Baseball For All is a national nonprofit empowering girls to play, coach, and lead in baseball.
“Maria is a legend and because of her sacrifices as a child, these girls today can play baseball,” said Justine Siegal, founder of Baseball For All and the first female to coach for a Major League Baseball organization.
Games will be being played on local fields on both days of the tournament.
“Hoboken is proud to partner with Weehawken to host this Baseball for All tournament for girls and women in honor of Maria Pepe,” said Ravi Bhalla, Mayor of Hoboken. “I encourage all of our residents and visitors to come catch the tournament in person!”
The Maria Pepe Series is being co-organized by a local all-girls baseball program, the NY Wonders—part of the larger NY Girls Baseball, a new incorporated nonprofit focused on growing girls baseball.