University of Arizona Campus  •  March 10 - 11, 2018  •  9:30am to 5:30pm
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Save the date for 2017!

March 11-12, 2017 (9:30am - 5:30pm)

Save the date for 2018!

March 10-11, 2018 (9:30am - 5:30pm)
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Ila Jane Borders


Ms. Borders is sponsored by Steve Alley

"Making My Pitch" tells the story of Ila Jane Borders, who despite formidable obstacles became a Little League prodigy, MVP of her otherwise all-male middle school and high school teams, the first woman awarded a baseball scholarship, and the first to pitch and win a complete men s collegiate game. After Mike Veeck signed Borders in May 1997 to pitch for his St. Paul Saints of the independent Northern League, she accomplished what no woman had done since the Negro Leagues era: play men's professional baseball. Borders played four professional seasons and in 1998 became the first woman in the modern era to win a professional ball game. Borders had to find ways to fit in with her teammates, reassure their wives and girlfriends, work with the media, and fend off groupies. But these weren't the toughest challenges. She had a troubled family life, a difficult adolescence as she struggled with her sexual orientation, and an emotionally fraught college experience as a closeted gay athlete at a Christian university. "Making My Pitch" shows what it's like to be the only woman on the team bus, in the clubhouse, and on the field. Raw, open, and funny at times, her story encompasses the loneliness of a groundbreaking pioneer who experienced grave personal loss. Borders ultimately relates how she achieved self-acceptance and created a life as a firefighter and paramedic and as a coach and goodwill ambassador for the game of baseball.

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Scheduled events:
Unique Women in Sports History
From college basketball in the 1930's to professional baseball in the 1990's to present day thoroughbred horse racing, authors discuss the unique women who have played a part in sports history.

Student Union Tucson Room (Seats 110)  View this venue on the Festival map
Sat, Mar 11, 11:30 am - 12:30 pm
Sports
Signing area: Sales & Signing Area - UA BookStore Tent (on Mall) (following presentation)  View this venue on the Festival map

Panelists: Ila Borders, Joe Drape, Lydia Reeder
Moderator: Steve Alley
Little-Known Sports Heroines
Poignant but often little known stories of women in sport are shared through words and photos.

Integrated Learning Center Room 150 (Seats 155, Wheelchair accessible)  View this venue on the Festival map
Sun, Mar 12, 11:30 am - 12:30 pm
Sports
Signing area: Sales & Signing Area - Integrated Learning Center (following presentation)  View this venue on the Festival map

Panelists: Ila Borders, Lydia Reeder, Molly Schiot
Moderator: Brett Fera

Book:
Making My Pitch: A Woman's Baseball Odyssey
Sports
University of Nebraska Press
April 2017
ISBN 9780803285309
Hardcover, 264 pages
$26.95, INSTOCK
Buy now

Making My Pitch tells the story of Ila Jane Borders, who despite formidable obstacles became a Little League prodigy, MVP of her otherwise all-male middle school and high school teams, the first woman awarded a baseball scholarship, and the first to pitch and win a complete men s collegiate game. More/less

Named Sponsors

Arizona Daily Star
University of Arizona

Presenting Sponsors

Tucson Medical Center

Major Sponsors

Friend of the Festival
Pima County Public Library
Stocker Foundation
University of Arizona BookStores
University of Arizona - Facilities Management

Key Sponsors

Brucker Trust
Marshall Foundation
Monark Premium Appliance Company
William & Mary Ross Foundation
Western National Parks Association

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