Yasmín Porrata Morán at Ramón Cabañas Stadium

Puerto Rico and Equality for Women in Baseball

There are some aspects of the baseball world that I enjoy writing about and others that are always frustrating. To be honest, those two ends of the spectrum are the easiest to write about. If a topic is about a great accomplishment or something fun the words tend to flow pretty darn easily. The same is true when the topic at hand makes me angry; if someone or something in baseball is doing something dumb then the words flow like hot lava. It’s the stories in the middle that are harder to write, especially the stories that are about something good but come from a faulty foundation.

It feels good to write about Yasmín Porrata Morán and Liga de Béisbol Superior Doble A. To be more specific, it feels good to write about the fact that Montañeses de Utuado announced at the beginning of March that Porrata had been named co-owner of the team. Porrata is someone who has worked her but off to earn that distinction. She didn’t fall into a lot of money, nor did she come from a non-baseball background and get involved in the LBSDA looking to make money and nothing more (not that owners in LBSDA are making money, to begin with). She has been associated with the Montañeses for years now and is a baseball person through and through.

It makes sense that an organization like LBSDA would make her a co-owner. Puerto Rico as a baseball entity has always been very progressive as far as women are concerned. They have integrated women into all aspects of their baseball community for decades now. From operating as journalists to photographers, videographers, agents, coaches, players, front office personnel, and on down the list. Puerto Rico still has ways to go, don’t get me wrong. They haven’t reached a point where their treatment of women is what it would be in an ideal society (there are still issues with equality of pay for instance), but they are either near or at the top of the baseball mountain when it comes to the equality of their baseball structure.

The part about all of this that isn’t welcome is that I can still look at this story and know that I have to highlight how great it is that Porrata is the co-owner of a team. It shouldn’t be that way, we shouldn’t have to keep celebrating whenever a woman is in a position of power within the baseball world. It should simply be that the woman in question is joining any number of other women in similar positions of power. Sadly, that’s not the case yet and thus Porrata’s new place in ownership ends up being a story.

Obviously, I’m not a leading voice on this matter, nor should I be. Many women writers have tackled the issue of the places women occupy in the sports world far better than I have here or ever will anywhere else. It sure seems like a geat thing to me that someone as integral to the baseball community of Utuado as Porrata has become part-owner of the Puerto Rican municipalities baseball team. It is undoubtedly a great thing and far more likely of an occurrence in Puerto Rico than in most other locations throughout the world. All the same, it feels very tiring that Porrata’s ownership has to be celebrated as a victory for women as opposed to a personal victory for her as a human being. That is a clear indicator that while Puerto Rico itself deserves a lot of credit for how entrenched women are in their baseball structure the world as a whole still has a long way to go and there will be plenty more “isn’t this great” stories before there are more, “Women A has been made the owner of this team. Move on with your day” stories. We’ll get there someday, but we’re not there yet.

Lead photo courtesy of Yasmín Porrata Morán – Montañeses de Utuado Twitter

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Bill Thompson
Father (human/feline/canine), husband, Paramedic, Socialist, writer Internet Baseball Writers Association of America and Off the Bench Baseball; freelance writer at various online and print publications. Member Internet Baseball Writers Association of America & Society for American Baseball Research.

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