Women’s suffrage with regard to the All-Star Game was achieved gradually, team by team, during the late 20th and early 21st century, culminating in 2004 with the passage of the Susan B. “Eric” Anthony Amendment to the Major League Baseball Bylaws, which provided: “The right of live game attendees and Internet users to stuff ballot boxes with their biased selections for the All-Star Game shall not be denied or abridged on account of sex, even if the woman is just voting for the players with the nicest smiles and has no idea what the infield fly rule is.”
The fight began in 1987, when Marge Schott, president and CEO of the Cincinnati Reds, agreed to allow women (and dogs) the right to vote in exchange for the elimination of voting rights for African-Americans, Jews, gay people, anyone with facial hair, and unmarried couples living in sin. After Barry Larkin and Eric Davis were elected to the 1989 All-Star Team, Schott immediately abandoned the women-can-vote experiment and decided to build a time machine and move to 1930s Germany, where she died.
In 1989, there were rumblings in San Diego regarding the lifting of restrictions on women voting, but the fall of Communism in that city and a number of others moved women’s All-Star suffrage to a less prominent place on the international agenda, and little progress was made.
The Bosnian Civil War (1992-95) was fought largely over this issue, and as the battlefields cleared, the world was left with two rival organizations, both seeking female voting rights and larger selections of craft beer at concession stands. The two organizations were the National (League) Woman Shortstop Association (NWSA), founded by Elizabeth Cady
“Mike” “Giancarlo” Stanton, and the American (League) Woman Shortstop Association (AWSA), founded by Lucy “Steve” Stone and Julia “Turner” Ward “Art” Howe. Both organizations tried to turn the tide, team by team.
The election of Hillary Clinton to the American League All-Star Team in 1998 was seen as a true turning point, as she played nine error-free innings at second base, hit three home runs, and won the game’s MVP (Most Valuable Princess) award. Following the game, the Yankees, Orioles, Blue Jays, Red Sox, and Mariners all announced that women would be permitted to vote for All-Stars in their home stadiums beginning in 1999.
Over the next three years, more teams decided to lift the ban on women, including the famed Tulsa Menstruators, a team that has since been contracted and removed from the history books. By 2004, commissioner of baseball George W. “Homer” Bush insisted on bringing a bill to the floor of the Winter Meetings, in the hope of creating one uniform policy for all of baseball (not to be confused with the many policies about baseball uniforms).
The bill passed, 2-1, with Commissioner Bush casting the deciding vote, and Supreme Court Justice Clarence “Frank” Thomas as the lone dissenter, citing past troubles with women like Anita “Aaron” Hill as his reason for preferring women not select the game’s starting lineup.
With the measure having passed, the remaining teams installed All-Star ballot dispensers in the women’s bathrooms, next to the free diaphragms, and all was once again right in the world. We now await the introduction of legislation that will finally allow men to vote for the game’s starters as well.
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