with video: 'Girl in Centerfield,' about Ypsilanti's Carolyn King, screens at EMU tonight
“The Girl in Centerfield,” the story of Ypsilanti's Carolyn King, the girl who broke down Little League’s gender barrier in 1973, is coming to Eastern Michigan University’s Pease Auditorium on May 21.
The acclaimed documentary by Emmy-nominated filmmakers Brian Kruger and Buddy Moorehouse of Stunt3 Multimedia will be shown at 7 p.m. that day at Pease. Tickets are $10 for adults, available online at www.emutix.com or at the door.
In addition to the film screening, the event will also feature an appearance by 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.
King 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 she started making waves when she beat out several boys to win a spot on the Orioles. King’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 King’s family and the local league that eventually convinced Little League to drop its no-girls policy. In 1974—thanks to King—girls were able to legally play Little League baseball for the first time.
“The Girl in Centerfield” is the tale of how the events unfolded in the summer of 1973. Using interviews with King, her coach, team members and more—along with old news clips and footage of King’s first game—filmmakers Kruger and Moorehouse tell the story of the courageous girl who took on the largest youth sports organization in America — and won.
Since 1973, more than 5 million girls have played Little League.
Watch the trailer for the movie: