Women at Play: The Story of Women in Baseball was the first book to tell the dramatic story of women who played baseball, starting with young Maud Nelson, who pitched Bloomer Girl teams to victory from the 1890s into the 1920s.
The book received a boxed review in The New York Times and was awarded the SABR-MacMillan Award for best baseball research. In December of 2017 Women at Play was brought back to popular attention when Francis Ford Coppola, in a NY Times Book Review, asked the question of which book readers would be surprised to find on his shelf, answered: "Women at Play: The Story of Women in Baseball, by Barbara Gregorich." In January 2018 the digital text-only edition of Women at Play was published in celebration of the book's 25th anniversary. Buy now.
To date the story of women in baseball, like the story of blacks in baseball prior to 1947, is one of persistent, skilled individuals — pioneers — who were set apart not because they were the only ones who could play or umpire or manage, but because they were the few who couldn't be stopped by all the social, cultural and political barriers placed between them and the realization of their baseball talents. These are compelling stories, and they are well-told here. . . . Gregorich is a fine writer whose prose is lucid and lively, and she knows her baseball.
— Elysian Fields Quarterly
Gregorich is to be commended for bringing out of obscurity such baseball pioneers as Maud Nelson, Lizzie Arlington, Amanda Clement, and Alta Weiss.
— The New York Times
Women at Play can do for women in baseball what Only the Ball Was White did for African Americans: illuminate decades of accomplishment in the face of prejudice to, if not a general audience, then at least to that segment of baseball fans who care about history and justice.
— The Cooperstown Review
Gregorich postulates that somewhere out there, playing T-ball or Little League, is the girl who will crack the gender barrier in major league baseball. After reading Women at Play, I believe her.
— Oxford Review
An important new text.
— USA Today's Baseball Weekly
Q: What book might people be surprised to find on your shelves?
A: Women at Play: The Story of Women in Baseball, by Barbara Gregorich.
— Francis Ford Coppola interview, NY Times Book Review, December 21, 2017
Writing Women at Play: Video