Silver Bullets come to Cooperstown
The Silver Bullets were an all-women’s baseball team founded “with the purpose to provide a nurturing environment for top women athletes to learn and play professional baseball against existing men’s teams within the ranks of minor league, semi-pro, college, and amateur baseball.”
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Or, as former pitcher Missy Coombes put it in 1995, “Basically, the goal of this whole thing is to prove that women, if given the opportunity, can play baseball.”
Initially approached by Silver Bullets Club President and former Atlanta Braves executive Bob Hope in 1993, Phil Niekro managed the team for the duration of their existence, and went so far as to salute his players during his Induction speech.
More than two decades later, many of the women who took the field in the Silver Bullets uniform continue to be involved in the game. Angie Mentink is an anchor for “Root Sports Northwest” and the host of “Mariners All Access;” Bridget Venturi Veenema coaches clinics as part of the Illinois Girls Baseball program; Jenny Dalton-Hill is a coach and sports commentator; and Laura Espinoza-Watson has created and coached multiple championship travel ball teams.
The list goes on and on because for these women, like so many other players and fans of the game, baseball isn’t just for a season: It’s for life.
Isabelle Minasian is the digital content specialist at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum