On a field dominated by men, Yanet Moreno is the only woman to step onto the baseball diamond during Cuba's national championship.Depending on how you feel about baseball outside the states, the Cuban league is a major league. Maybe the equivalent of AA or AAA (anyone?), but it is a major league, and she is a woman calling a championship series.
As the only female umpire to call in the National Series -- Cuba's equivalent of the big leagues -- Moreno, 35, has set a historic precedent.
In keeping with the communist tradition of the state picking careers for it's citizens, Moreno was chosen:
Moreno was encouraged to train as a professional umpire, and before she had even finished school she was called to the National Series. She refereed her first game in December 2006, right at the start of the four-month baseball season.While working in a (supposed) man's world, Moreno manages to keep in touch with her feminine side:
Still, she has advice for women trying to succeed in a man's world: "Those of us who work with men, should never stop being feminine," she says.Between women umpires and women pitchers, the lines are becoming blurred. Some will be happy, some will be angry, and some just won't care. I've umpired for years, and the main thing is competence. Is she good? Can she handle the game? Does she know the rules?
"We have to keep painting our nails, fixing our hair, plucking our eyebrows, never stop being women."
True to her word, at a recent game, Moreno sported bright red fingernails and a neatly coiffed hairdo. Before each game, she sprays herself with perfume.
"It's a tradition of mine," she said as she geared up. "So when I sweat, I smell like perfume."
I'll admit, as an old-fashioned kind of guy, I have mixed feelings about this. In some ways, I like it as the mans game, while softball is for girls. But I also know from my time in the Army, that there are a lot of women who outperform men in many ways.
So what's the answer? As usual, my opinion is - does it make the game better?
As of yet, no word on whether Pam Postema wants to defect.