As anyone who’s spoken to Maybelle Blair for even just a few minutes quickly realizes, she is amazing and deserves all the awards.
So it’s fitting that on Thursday, Blair will be honored with the inaugural Amazin’ Mets Foundation Legacy Award, dedicated to celebrating “the people and organizations in the baseball community that are making a difference and driving impactful change, both on and off the field.”
A former pitcher with the All American Girls Professional Baseball League’s Peoria Redwings who provided one of the feel-good moments of 2022 when she publicly came out for the first time at age 95 during the Tribeca Film Festival, Blair fits that description to a T.
She is also a tireless advocate dedicated to keeping the legacy of the AAGPBL and its players alive, serving as an adviser for Amazon Prime’s “A League of Their Own” and Founding Director Emeritus of the International Women’s Baseball Center in Rockford, Illinois.
Following a news conference on Thursday afternoon at Citi Field, Blair is scheduled to throw out the first pitch before the Mets game with the Arizona Diamondbacks.
To celebrate her coming out story, the Amazin’ Mets Foundation will be making a donation to Athlete Ally. This also acknowledges the role that LGBTQ athletes played throughout the AAGPBL because as Blair recalled last year, “It was like a big party when we went to play ball because I realized I wasn’t the only gay girl in the world…there were quite a few of us that were gay on all the teams.”
Now 96, this won’t be the only pitch she’s thrown this season. Last month, she also made an appearance at Wrigley Field as the Chicago Cubs celebrated the 80th anniversary of the AAGBPL.
Blair continues to travel the country and advocate for women’s baseball with verve and personality to spare. Once she delivers the first pitch on Thursday, she’ll also demonstrate the kind of stamina that Max Scherzer or Justin Verlander would envy.
Come to think of it, if she throws a strike, she might just get a two-year contract. And she’d be worth every penny.